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BEST EVER
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Ding Dong Donnie Only Hires The Best!!!


Trump's advisors are frantically trying to stop him from firing Attorney General Barr as the president's fury hits a boiling point
Sonam Sheth
Wed, December 2, 2020, 11:22 PM EST
President Donald Trump's anger with Attorney General William Barr has reached a boiling point, and multiple advisors are trying to persuade him not to fire Barr, The Washington Post reported.

Trump is said to be furious with Barr's failure to deliver on a politically charged investigation into the origins of the FBI's Russia inquiry.

Trump's frustration mounted this week after Barr undercut his conspiracy theories about the US election.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump's anger toward Attorney General William Barr has reached a boiling point in recent days, and multiple advisors are trying to persuade the president not to fire Barr, The Washington Post reported late Wednesday.

Trump's fury is said to stem mainly from Barr's failure to deliver on a politically charged investigation into the origins of the FBI's Russia inquiry. That investigation, spearheaded by US Attorney John Durham, is examining whether the bureau broke the law when it investigated whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to tilt the 2016 US election in his favor.

The attorney general told Republican senators in September that Durham's investigation would not conclude in time to release a public report before last month's US election. The news angered Trump, who had long claimed the investigation would show proof the Obama administration and the "deep state" masterminded a plot to take him down by illegally launching the Russia inquiry.

So far, the Durham investigation has resulted in a criminal charge against a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators. But it has not uncovered evidence of a nefarious conspiracy against the president by his perceived political foes. Durham's investigation is ongoing, and Barr appointed him special counsel, under the same regulations that governed Robert Mueller's 2017 appointment to the role.

One senior administration official told The Post that Trump remained livid that Durham didn't issue a public report of his findings before the 2o2o election and that Barr secretly appointed him special counsel.

The president's frustration with Barr mounted this week after Barr told the Associated Press in an interview that the FBI and the Department of Justice did not have evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 US election.

The revelation flew in the face of the Trump legal team's bogus claims that Democrats conspired with "big media" to steal the election by engineering nationwide voter fraud and working with South American communist dictators to rig voting machines.

ABC News reported that Trump and Barr had an "intense" meeting at the White House after the AP interview was published. The DOJ also released a statement qualifying some of Barr's claims hours after his meeting with the president. But Trump has continued complaining about Barr in the day since the interview dropped, The Post reported. A DOJ representative declined to comment on the matter.

Barr's potential termination would add to a growing list of revenge firings Trump has carried out since losing the election. In the week after he lost, the president dismissed Defense Secretary Mark Esper, as well as Chris Krebs, the US's top cybersecurity official who drew Trump's ire by publicly refuting Republicans' misinformation about the election.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Old Post 12-03-2020 11:50 AM
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BEST EVER
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NBC News
Release of PPP loan recipients' data reveals troubling patterns


1 / 2
Trump, Kushner companies were major beneficiaries of PPP loans
Ben Popken and Andrew W. Lehren
Wed, December 2, 2020, 12:38 AM EST
Sweeping data released by the Small Business Administration on who benefited from pandemic relief programs raises questions about the equitability and distribution of loans intended for small businesses, an initial analysis by NBC News shows.

The analysis found that tenants paying rent at properties owned by the Trump Organization as well as the Kushner Companies, owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, benefited financially from the program. These tenants received loans, which they then were required to put toward rent for the loans to be forgiven. The data did not show that the Trump Organization received PPP loans for its properties.

After months of litigation, the SBA released the dataset Tuesday night on every small business that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loan.

The data reveals the most complete accounting to date of the more than $700 billion in forgivable loans Congress and the Trump administration introduced in the spring for allowable expenses, including payroll, rent, utilities and mortgage interest payments.

The analysis by NBC News, one of 11 newsrooms that sued for the release of data, also shows:

Over 25 PPP loans worth more than $3.65 million were given to businesses with addresses at Trump and Kushner real estate properties, paying rent to those owners. Fifteen of the businesses self-reported that they only kept one job, zero jobs or did not report a number at all.

The loans to businesses located at Trump and Kushner properties included a $2,164,543 loan to the Triomphe Restaurant Corp., at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York City. The company reported the money didn’t go to keeping any jobs. It later closed.

A company called LB City Inc, which is located at Kushner’s Bungalow Hotel in Long Branch, New Jersey, received a loan for $505,552.50 that it used to keep 155 jobs.

Two tenants at 725 5th Avenue, Trump Tower, received more than $100,000 and kept only three jobs.

Four tenants at the Kushner-owned 666 5th Avenue combined received more than $204,000, and retained only six jobs.

Christopher W Smith, General Counsel with Kushner Companies, denied that the company had benefited improperly in any way from the program.

“The notion that Kushner Companies somehow improperly benefited from CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans is completely untrue and amounts to nothing more than politically motivated nonsense. Exactly two Kushner Companies’ hotel operations affiliates received PPP loans. Every provision of the PPP program has been comprehensively abided with respect to each of the two loans – and every penny of the funds received from the program was utilized to fund employee payroll and benefits costs to maintain jobs imperiled by the COVID pandemic and associated lockdown measures.”

Kimberly Benza, a spokeswoman with the Trump Organization, wrote in an email, “The Trump Organization was specifically excluded from receiving PPP money, per Senate legislation. In other words, no Trump entity received pandemic-related loans from the government.”

Missing names
There were also some troubling signs of mismanagement revealed in the data. Over 100 loans were made to companies where no business name was listed, were listed as “no name available” or showed potential data entry errors, such as names that appeared to be dates or phone numbers. More than 300 companies appear to have each gotten more than $10 million in loans through their subsidiaries. Businesses were not supposed to receive more than $10 million per entity, except for those in the food, hospitality or hotels industries.

The findings immediately raised concerns with government accountability groups.

“Many months and broken promises later, the court-ordered release of this crucial data while the Trump administration is one foot out the door is a shameful dereliction of duty and flagrant mismanagement of a program that millions of workers and small businesses needed to get through this pandemic,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, an accountability watchdog, said in a statement.

Original intent
The PPP programs’ original stated intent by officials was to help with payroll for small businesses struggling under the effects of coronavirus lockdown measures. The loans aimed to provide a bridge through the summer for what was hoped to be an improved economic and health climate in the fall.

The law creating the virus bailout program barred businesses controlled by government officials and their family members, including in-laws, from receiving loans. The indirect benefits the Trump and Kushner businesses received were not prohibited by law.

But almost from the start, the programs, particularly PPP, drew criticism for how they were administered and messaged, and whether it was equitable.

Large national banks initially gave loans only to customers with whom they had pre-existing lending relationships. Businesses owned by people of color without strong banking relationships found themselves with limited access and forced them to find other routes for funding. There was also the persistent question of what defined a “small business,” after lobbying by the hotel and restaurant industry ballooned the maximum number of employees allowable to 500, even though over 98 percent of the small businesses in America have fewer than 100 employees.

The administration tried to address the complaints, such as setting aside a day just for smaller community banks to apply for loans. But even that overwhelmed SBA computer systems. These controversies all increased the pressure for transparency.

But in contrast to previous government bailout programs, the agency previously released less detailed versions that it said for privacy reasons omitted the business names and addresses of borrowers who borrowed less than $150,000. And instead of specific loan amounts, loans were listed in ranges.

Mixed responses
The SBA defended its handling of the program when it released its data on Tuesday evening.

“SBA’s historically successful Covid relief loan programs have helped millions of small businesses and tens of millions of American workers when they needed it most,” an SBA spokesman said in a statement accompanying the release.

Jimmy Billimoria, an SBA spokesman, also noted that the missing information was the fault of the lenders. He wrote in an email, “what appears in the data is what was submitted by lenders into the SBA system.”

But as government accountability groups sifted through the data late into the night and uploaded them to publicly searchable databases like SearchPPP.com, they expressed regret about what has happened to so many small businesses partly from the loan program’s “mismanagement” and “malpractice,” said Herrig.

“Only now — after its hand has been forced, hundreds of thousands of small businesses have gone under, and millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted — has this administration pulled back the curtains to reveal the malpractice going on behind the scenes,” Herrig said. “Americans deserved an open, transparent small business aid program when this pandemic started, and any new small business relief program must take a lesson from the abject failures of this one.”

CLARIFICATION (Dec. 2, 2020, 8:45 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article noted that tenants of the Trump Organization and the Kushner Companies received PPP loans. The Trump and Kushner companies did not themselves receive the loans, and the article has been changed to make that clear. In addition, the earlier version did not include responses from the two companies, which have been added.

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Old Post 12-03-2020 12:13 PM
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BEST EVER
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Six ways Washington's never-ending gridlock on COVID-19 stimulus is hurting ordinary Americans
Christopher Wilson and Andrew Romano
Thu, December 3, 2020, 5:00 AM EST

The Japanese government gives subsidies to smaller companies that allow them to pay employees idled by the COVID-19 pandemic up to 100 percent of their normal wages. In the Netherlands, that number is 90 percent. In Germany, it’s 87 percent. In France, it’s 84 percent. In Italy and the United Kingdom, it’s 80 percent. In Canada, it’s 75 percent.

In America, it’s 0 percent.

The chasm between these stats tells a larger tale. While the rest of the world’s developed countries seem determined to keep shielding their citizens from the harshest economic side effects of COVID-19, President Trump and Congress have dawdled, failing so far to agree on further assistance for Americans who are now suffering more than ever.

Washington’s delayed reaction has already complicated the country’s coronavirus response in state after state and sector after sector. The longer it continues — and the stingier any eventual stimulus is — the more devastating the consequences could be.

“The risk of overdoing it is less than the risk of underdoing it,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday. “People are always worried about doing too much, and you look back in hindsight and say, ‘Well, we didn’t do too much. We might’ve done a little more and a little sooner.’”

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Old Post 12-03-2020 12:58 PM
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Richard Lambert
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quote:
Originally posted by BEST EVER
U.S. President Donald Trump has been the target of multiple accusations that he raped children aged 13 and younger, and he paid at least $35 million to settle most of those claims.


Oh my goodness, "multiple accusations", "children 13 and younger", give me a break. You are just joking aren't you? Surely this post was meant to be comical.

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Old Post 12-03-2020 01:21 PM
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Richard Lambert
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quote:
Originally posted by CentralTn
Bob
.Surf the internet and copy and paste seems to be a real way to prove a point.



We all know that if you see it on the interweb it has to be true. Especially if it is a quote from CNN.

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Old Post 12-03-2020 01:27 PM
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Richard Lambert
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quote:
Originally posted by BEST EVER
"As of Aug. 27, the tally in our database that tracks every errant claim by the president stood at 22,247 claims in 1,316 days," explains the article, going on to postulate that during this home stretch of the election campaign season, Trump is averaging around 50 bald-faced, publicly proclaimed lies per day.
.



Oh my goodness, they have actually paid a team of people to monitor every single word that the President says for the last 4 or 5 years. I wonder why they don't report every time he says something truthful? How many of those statements that they deem to be untruthful later turn out to truthful? Like, "the dumrats tapped our phones during the campaign". Or, "the whole Russian Collusian investigation is a hoax". Or, "the FBI is corrupt".

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Old Post 12-03-2020 01:39 PM
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groworg1
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lambert
Oh my goodness, "multiple accusations", "children 13 and younger", give me a break. You are just joking aren't you? Surely this post was meant to be comical.
what don't you remember the hillary clinton child porn ring in the downstairs of a dc pizza shop the right wing trump supporters pushed during the 2016 election 2 men went to jail 1 for shooting the pizza shop another for trying to burn it down all based on right wing lies !!!!!!

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BEST EVER
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Barr had 'intense' meeting with Trump after AG's interview undercutting voter fraud claims: Sources
KATHERINE FAULDERS and ALEXANDER MALLIN
Wed, December 2, 2020, 9:45 PM EST
While at the White House for meetings Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr had a meeting with President Donald Trump following an interview with the Associated Press in which Barr disclosed that the Department of Justice has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the election results, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

Barr spent roughly two and a half hours on White House grounds on Tuesday for what White House and Department of Justice officials previously said was a pre-planned meeting with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

However, sources told ABC News that once Barr was in the building for meetings, Trump wanted to see him.

One source briefed on the meeting described Barr's interaction with the president as "intense," but would not elaborate on any additional details about the content of their discussion.

MORE: DOJ hasn't uncovered widespread fraud that would change election results: Barr

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a press briefing Wednesday afternoon declined to answer whether the two had spoken since Barr's interview, and also declined to say directly whether Trump still had confidence in Barr.

PHOTO: Attorney General Bill Barr leaves the West Wing of the White House after a meeting, Dec. 1, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Attorney General Bill Barr leaves the West Wing of the White House after a meeting, Dec. 1, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
In the interview with the AP, Barr directly undercut allegations that have been made by Trump and his legal team, as well as the president's allies, that Trump would have won the election had it not been for widespread vote fraud.

"To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election," Barr told the AP.

Soon after Barr departed the White House Tuesday, a DOJ spokesperson sent reporters a statement hitting back at what the official described as inaccurate characterizations by some in the media of Barr's comments.

"Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the Department has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election," the spokesperson said. "That is not what the Associated Press reported nor what the Attorney General stated. The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible."

MORE: Federal prosecutors express concern over Attorney General William Barr's election fraud memo: Sources

Sources say the president has privately expressed his anger toward Barr and has even floated the possibility of removing him. Those claims were first reported by the Washington Post.

The White House didn't immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment further.

Barr had 'intense' meeting with Trump after AG's interview undercutting voter fraud claims: Sources originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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BEST EVER
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Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations
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This article is part of
a series about
Donald Trump
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Donald Trump, current president of the United States, has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, including non-consensual kissing or groping, by at least 25 women since the 1970s.[1][2] The accusations have resulted in three instances of litigation: his then-wife Ivana made a rape claim during their 1989 divorce litigation but later recanted that claim;[3] businesswoman Jill Harth sued Trump in 1997 alleging breach of contract while also suing for sexual harassment but agreed to forfeit her sexual harassment claim as part of a settlement she received relating to the former suit; and, in 2017, former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit after Trump accused her of lying about her sexual misconduct allegations against him.[4]

Two of the allegations (by Ivana Trump and Jill Harth) became public before Trump's candidacy for president, but the rest arose after a 2005 audio recording was leaked during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump was recorded bragging that a celebrity like himself "can do anything" to women, including "just start kissing them ... I don't even wait" and "grab 'em by the pussy". Trump subsequently characterized those comments as "locker room talk" and denied actually behaving that way toward women, and he also apologized for the crude language. Many of his accusers stated that Trump's denials provoked them into going public with their allegations.

Another type of accusation was made, primarily after the audio recording surfaced, by several former Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contestants, who accused Trump of entering the dressing rooms of beauty pageant contestants. Trump, who owned the Miss Universe franchise, which includes both pageants, was accused of going into dressing rooms in 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2006, while contestants were in various stages of undress. Trump had already referred to this practice during a 2005 interview on The Howard Stern Show, saying he could "get away with things like that" because he owned the beauty pageants the women and girls were competing in.

Trump has denied all the allegations against him, saying he has been the victim of media bias, conspiracies, and a political smear campaign.[5][6][7][8] In October 2016, Trump publicly vowed to sue all the women who have made allegations of sexual misconduct against him, as well as The New York Times for publishing the allegations,[9][10] but he has yet to follow through with any legal action.[11][12]

In June 2019, writer E. Jean Carroll alleged in New York magazine that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in 1995 or 1996. Two friends of Carroll confirmed to the magazine that Carroll had previously confided in them in regard to the incident. Trump denied ever meeting Carroll, although New York had published a photo of Trump and Carroll together in 1987.[13][14][15] In October 2019, the book All the President's Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator,[a] by Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy was published, containing 43 additional allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump.[16][17]


Contents
1 Accusations filed in court against Trump
1.1 Ivana Trump (1989)
1.2 Jill Harth (1992)
1.3 E. Jean Carroll (1995 or 1996)
1.4 Summer Zervos (2007)
1.5 Alva Johnson (2019)
2 The New York Times May 2016 story
3 Recording controversy and second 2016 presidential debate
4 Public allegations since 2016
4.1 Jessica Leeds (1980s)
4.2 Kristin Anderson (1990s)
4.3 Lisa Boyne (1996)
4.4 Cathy Heller (1997)
4.5 Temple Taggart McDowell (1997)
4.6 Amy Dorris (1997)
4.7 Karena Virginia (1998)
4.8 Karen Johnson (early 2000s)
4.9 Mindy McGillivray (2003)
4.10 Jennifer Murphy (2005)
4.11 Rachel Crooks (2005)
4.12 Natasha Stoynoff (2005)
4.13 Juliet Huddy (2005 or 2006)
4.14 Jessica Drake (2006)
4.15 Ninni Laaksonen (2006)
4.16 Cassandra Searles (2013)
5 Pageant dressing room visits
5.1 Mariah Billado, Victoria Hughes, and three other Miss Teen USA contestants (1997)
5.2 Bridget Sullivan (2000)
5.3 Tasha Dixon (2001)
5.4 Unnamed contestants (2001)
5.5 Samantha Holvey (2006)
6 Other incidents
7 Reactions
7.1 Comparisons to other behavior
7.2 Donald Trump's self-assessment
7.3 Trump family
7.4 Trump campaign
7.5 Trump's attorneys
7.6 The Trump administration
7.7 #WhyWomenDontReport
7.8 Smear allegations
7.9 Michelle Obama's speech
7.10 Public response
8 See also
9 Notes
10 References

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oklared
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Re: Re: Re: Reply

quote:
Originally posted by Cotton 1927
No Sir, I actually voted for the current POTUS in 2016, but about a year into his term I realized the guy was a joke,con man,fool me once.........


BEST ECONOMY IN HISTORY OF THE WORLD, LESS UNEMPLOYMENT IN US HISTORY, MORE MINORITY'S WORKING, MORE WOMEN WORKING, MORE JOBS RETURNED TO US JUST TO START, WHAT DO YOU THINK BIDEN IS GONNA DO IF HE EVER SEE'S OFFICE ? HE A JOKE ALRIGHT.

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BEST EVER
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Donald Trump: Not only does his past and current team have ties to Russia, but the President himself also does. He has traveled to Russia extensively, done business there often, and has ties to Russian interests. For example, in 2008 he made a real estate sale to Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev. Trump bought a Palm Beach mansion in 2004 during a bankruptcy sale for $41 million, and less than four years later, without ever having moved in, Trump sold the mansion to Rybolovlev for $95 million. In a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office, he revealed highly classified information to the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. US media was banned from this meeting, but a Russian photographer was allowed in the session, later releasing these photos on the Russian state-owned news.

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Old Post 12-03-2020 02:54 PM
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The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for more than 11 years. Whether or not it rises anytime soon largely depends on Georgia, where two runoff elections in January will determine which party controls the Senate.

Democrats acknowledge that their plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the course of several years stands virtually no chance if Republicans maintain control of the upper chamber, even with Joe Biden in the White House and a slim Democratic majority in the House. Even a more modest hourly increase likely would not have enough votes in a GOP Senate.

While most states have their own, higher minimum wages, there are 21 states where the federal minimum wage is the law. Congress hasn’t approved a hike since George W. Bush occupied the White House, with Republicans blocking repeated efforts by Democrats.

“[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell hasn’t given a crap about the minimum wage his entire career,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told HuffPost. “He’s not going to care about it in 2021.”

Murphy said the odds of a minimum wage hike ― like much of the progressive agenda ― were “slim to none” unless Democratic nominees Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock knock off Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. A double win in Georgia would create a 50-50 tie in the chamber, and Vice President Kamala Harris would have the tie-breaker vote. In that case, Democrats could pass a minimum wage hike on their own, but only if they were willing to blow up the filibuster.

But even with Senate control, it’s still not clear Democrats would have the votes necessary to pass what has become party doctrine: a $15 wage floor from coast to coast. Some moderate members in both chambers could be reluctant to back an aggressive wage hike over the objections of business groups, and Democrats’ smaller majority in the House leaves less room for error.

As of now, Democrats will hold 222 seats to Republicans’ 210 next session, with three seats still up in the air. When the House voted on a $15 minimum wage in July 2019, it passed 231-199, with six Democrats voting against it and three Republicans voting for it.

Mitch McConnell hasn’t given a crap about the minimum wage his entire career.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

Judy Conti, government affairs director for the National Employment Law Project, said the $15 minimum wage bill would still pass the House if every member who voted for it last year did so again, though the margin would be tighter. She also noted the popularity of the proposal with voters, pointing to a successful ballot measure in Florida last month that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026. That measure required 60% approval as an amendment to the state constitution; it ended up with 60.82%.

Conti said she is confident there will be movement on the issue regardless of what happens in Georgia.

“We plan to come out of the gate strong with a campaign as soon as the new Congress is set,” she said. “We will be urging [House] leadership to move this quickly. We’re going to push like hell to get this on the Senate floor as well. It’s absolutely shameful that we keep the minimum wage this low.”

But even if Democrats manage to win both Senate seats in Georgia, they would still need to persuade more members in the caucus to support the $15 proposal in order for it to pass and head to Biden’s desk. Several Democrats so far have declined to co-sponsor the bill in the Senate ― including moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) ― despite the concept of a $15 minimum wage growing more mainstream each year.

(Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
(Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
It can be easier to pass bold proposals like last year’s House bill when there is no chance they’d become law under a divided Congress. If Democrats were on the cusp of actually phasing in a $15 wage floor, vulnerable members would feel tremendous pressure from businesses. That’s especially true if they pursue an end to the “tip credit” that allows for a lower minimum wage in restaurants ― an issue the industry has mobilized around in local political fights. Last year’s House bill phased out the credit over the course of several years.

Michael Saltsman, managing director of the Employment Policies Institute, an industry-aligned group that opposes minimum wage hikes, predicted that even some House Democrats who previously supported the bill could get wobbly and that their target wage level might drop.

“Behind the scenes, it was not a sure thing that $15 was going to pass the House,” Saltsman said. “Obviously, if Republicans keep the Senate for at least the next two years, at the federal level you’re probably not going to be having a conversation about the minimum wage. Does it come down to Georgia?... If [Democrats] pull out a miracle in Georgia, maybe they move a $12 minimum wage.”

Anything less than $15 could disappoint the progressive wing of the party, especially since the minimum wage has already gone the longest stretch ever without an increase. Fifteen has become the rallying cry of the union-led Fight for $15 worker campaign that began in fast food and spread to other industries.

“It’s really not the time to talk about compromising on raising it to $15 or not,” said Conti. “It’s got to happen on a somewhat aggressive schedule to reset wages for this country as a whole.”

At the same time, compromising at $12 might still not be enough to bring any Republicans on board in the Senate if Democrats need them.

We’re going to push like hell to get this on the Senate floor.
Judy Conti, National Employment Law Project

Indeed, for all the popularity of raising the minimum wage, November’s elections showed once again that GOP politicians pay little to no political price for not doing it. Florida voters passed their minimum wage ballot initiative with a supermajority, yet Trump still managed to carry the state by more than three points. Plenty of voters are obviously capable of supporting the higher wage floor as well as the candidate who would stand in the way of one.

“The question is not whether or not increasing the minimum age is wildly popular. Florida didn’t answer that question ― that had been answered long before,” Murphy said. “Republicans have never let the popularity of the minimum wage affect their opposition to it.”

Regardless of how the Senate shakes out, progressive groups plan to pressure Biden to implement an executive order raising the minimum wage to $15 for workers under federal contracts. The president can put such mandates on employers who accept federal dollars, as Obama did in 2014 when he signed an executive order requiring minimum pay of $10.10.

Jennifer Epps-Addison, president of the progressive Center for Popular Democracy, said well-organized pressure campaigns are still the key to minimum wage hikes at the local and federal levels. She sees a federal increase as possible if Democrats win in Georgia, but she believes a lot of work remains to push $15 over the line even within the party.

She said a think-tank report would not persuade Manchin, but that the number of West Virginians who “organize themselves and make their voice known to him” would have an impact.

“If the party lined up and he was a key vote, what sways him won’t be anything we can say to him,” Epps-Addison said. “It will be what people on the ground can show him.”

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Related...

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife have sent out around 900 invitations for one of several indoor holiday parties at the State Department, despite the coronavirus pandemic and bleak warnings from public health officials to avoid large gatherings, according to a report in The Washington Post.

The event, called “Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays,” is set to take place on Dec. 15 on the 8th floor of the State Department building in Washington, D.C. The Post reported that event planners were told to disregard official health guidance despite Pompeo’s own agency recommending employees change all “non-mission critical events” to “virtual” meetings rather than in-person gatherings.

The State Department released a statement late Wednesday amid the report, saying: “We plan to fully enforce social distancing measures at this reception, and face coverings are mandatory for admittance.”

“We’ve taken every precaution to thin out the number of individuals in all spaces at one time, and plan to keep outdoors space open and available to attendees, weather permitting,” the spokesperson added in a comment to The Hill.

The U.S. is in the midst of the worst phase of the pandemic so far. More than 100,000 people were hospitalized with the virus and 200,000 others tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, both record highs, and the country was on track to have its highest one-day death toll on Wednesday as well.

More than 270,000 people nationwide have died of COVID-19 so far, and the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that figure could almost double by early next year if trends continue.

“I do think, unfortunately, before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans who’ve died from this virus,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, said this week.

Large events in Washington have already been linked to mass outbreaks of the coronavirus that have spread through the Trump administration, the halls of Congress and beyond. President Donald Trump tested positive for the virus after a large gathering celebrating the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26. Few people were seen wearing masks or socially distancing at the event.

Pompeo has a predilection for lavish events. Earlier this year, he came under scrutiny for hosting about two dozen taxpayer-funded events at the State Department during his tenure that featured powerful Republican lawmakers and conservative Fox News hosts.

The events were dubbed the “Madison Dinners” and hosted by Pompeo and his wife, Susan, in historic diplomatic reception rooms, according to an investigation by NBC News.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump plan to host at least 20 holiday parties this season at the White House.

Related...

Kayleigh McEnany Defends White House Holiday Parties Amid COVID Surge

Ex-Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell Urges Georgia Voters To Boycott Runoff Elections

CDC Head Says 180,000 More Americans Could Die From COVID-19 By February

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

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