US Congress: Out to Lunch from July 3 to July 20

This is the pre-vacation Congressional Calendar according to the NAB: July: green, House, blue, Senate.

Now given that CongressCritters only earn a paltry $174,000 (and benefits) yearly, and swear not to enrich themselves while in office, we can easily understand while they may require some extra leisure time.


Now there may not be much of the People’s Bidness to tend to, right?  Well, okay, maybe another CARES package and Coronavirus Stim Payment for the rabble classes.

According to C/Net on July 7:

Stimulus check timeline: These are the dates that matter

McConnell has been unwavering in his July timetable for making a decision on the next stimulus bill, and by extension, if that contains another stimulus check. In a June 30 briefing, McConnell promised to “stay on the schedule that I announced earlier in the year.” He has also warned that the next relief package will also be the last.

If the Senate sticks to that goal, it’s possible to tease out the basic timeframe Congress has to work with if another rescue bill containing checks is to get approved.

July 3 to July 17: The Senate is currently on a planned recess from Friday, July 3, through Friday, July 17, returning to work on Monday, July 20. Including weekends, that’s a 17 day hiatus between the last day in session and the first day of the new session.

According to Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, members of the Senate will use the July break to collect the information they need for a second coronavirus package and then return ready to work. “I think the timing is going to be just about right for us to know what we need to know for a package that moves us into August, September and October,” Blunt said on June 30.

July 20 to Aug. 7: The Senate will be in session for three work weeks, until Friday, Aug. 7. That gives the Senate 15 working days (not including weekends) to debate a bill before its next summer recess.”

But wait!  There’s more!

‘As cutoff of $600 weekly benefit and wave of evictions loom, Congress takes a holiday’, Shannon Jones, 7 July 2020, wsws.org

“With tens of millions of workers facing the triple threat of the cutoff of the $600 weekly federal supplement to their state unemployment compensation, the resumption of evictions in most states, and a renewed upsurge in the coronavirus pandemic, the response of the US Congress was to go on vacation.

The Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate adjourned July 3 without taking up an extension of the $600 weekly supplement provided in the CARES Act, which is set to expire on July 25. Congress will not return to work until Monday, July 20, and there is little prospect that the full supplement will be extended, given intransigent opposition from corporate America, which has branded the payments a “disincentive” to forcing workers back into unsafe workplaces.

The $600 supplement has been a lifeline for tens of millions of workers thrown onto unemployment lines by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. Large numbers of workers, particularly those in part-time and other contingent forms of work, actually saw an increase in income, because combined state and federal benefits brought them up to nearly $1,000 a week–above the official poverty line.

The looming unemployment benefit cutoff coincides with the expiration of temporary eviction moratoriums in 20 states, including Texas and Wisconsin. Eviction bans in nine others are set to expire by the end of the month, as well as the federal ban, which affects only properties insured or underwritten through federal agencies. A study by the real estate firm Amherst projects that almost 28 million households are at risk of eviction due to job losses related to the pandemic.

The Trump administration and most congressional Republicans are opposing renewal of the $600 unemployment supplement, proposing either a complete cutoff, an extension at a much lower level, or the transformation of the unemployment benefit into an incentive bonus for going back to work—essentially paying workers to risk their lives and the lives of their families and friends under conditions of a worsening pandemic.” [snip]

“The 18 days until the cutoff will be consumed by backroom horse-trading between the House Democrats, the Senate Republicans and the White House, with all factions vying for the support of Wall Street and big business.”

Here is what Pam and Russ Martens had to say about the CARES package on April 2, 2020: ‘Here Are the Contracts Showing How $4.5 Trillion in Stimulus Was Outsourced to Wall Street’ (a teaser)

“It’s all bunk. Here’s what is actually happening. The stimulus bill (CARES Act) stipulates that the U.S. Treasury will provide $454 billion of the $2.2 trillion total to the Federal Reserve. That $454 billion will be the loss absorbing capital to leverage the Fed’s purchases of toxic debt from Wall Street to a maximum of 10 times or $4.54 trillion. So, already Main Street is behind. Main Street is getting $2.2 trillion minus $454 billion for Wall Street and $46 billion for airlines and “national security” businesses, likely meaning Boeing. That leaves $1.7 trillion versus the $4.54 trillion that will be offered to Wall Street, or $2.84 trillion more heading to bail out Wall Street.

But the Fed had already created another Wall Street bailout program last year that is not included in that $4.54 trillion.”

Their Recent Posts on the left sidebar are almost breathtaking.  This should have been exposed everywhere, but writing it up in all its detailed complexity would have been a Herculean task: U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman’s Ouster: The Untold Story’  (a teaser):

“Shortly after 9 p.m. last Friday evening, the U.S. Attorney General, William Barr, released a statement indicating that the top federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, was “stepping down.” In his place, Barr said this: “I am pleased to announce that President Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.”

Two hours later, Geoffrey Berman released his own statement indicating that William Barr had just told a brazen lie to the American people. Berman’s statement was this: “I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney.  I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.”

In a later they ask this, in effect: ‘Was it related to this?’

Sergeant Dow Jones Industrial Average today: 26, 091.61

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

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