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Congress ‘Close’ On Stimulus; Will Include New Round Of Direct Checks, Nix State And Local Funding, Liability Protections

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Congress is ‘close’ on a coronavirus deal, which is expected to remain below the $1 trillion upper boundary set by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and GOP leadership earlier this year, according to The Hill. The current iteration of the deal will include direct stimulus payments to individuals but excludes liability protections and direct aid for state and local governments.

The  new round of stimulus checks will come in “at an amount lower than the checks of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child included in the CARES act,” according to The Hill‘s Scott Wong, who adds that it will “leave out $160B in funding for state and local governments, which was originally included in a $908 billion compromise proposal that Democratic leaders endorsed in early December, as well as liability protection for businesses, a top priority of GOP leadership.”

*  *  *

Looks like Goldman was right this time: one day after the bank’s chief political economist Alec Phillips flipped his stimulus position again, and said yesterday that think “it is more likely than not that Congress will pass this week a package similar to the recent $748bn bipartisan proposals, which would be close to our standing assumption of a $700bn (3.3% of GDP) package” moments ago Politico’s Jake Sherman confirmed what was already widely expected when he tweeted that negotiators “are on the brink of a $900bn coronavirus rescue package that would include a new round of direct payments, but would leave out state and local aid, and a liability shield.”

More importantly, he added that “a deal could come as early as early this morning.

The news immediately spiked the EMini, pushing it briefly above 3,700 before the gains fizzled as traders realized that much of this was already priced in.

The news also pushed 10Y yields to session highs above 0.94%.

For those who missed it, yesterday Goldman said that congressional leaders appear slightly more likely than not to include most of the other aspects of the bipartisan $748bn proposal (summarized below).

The largest of these would be another round of loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for hard-hit businesses, payments to states to cover COVID-related education costs and public health funds for activities like testing and vaccine distribution. A $300/week UI top-up payment through March also looks likely.

As an aside, Goldman’s base case for additional stimulus remains $700bn (3.3% of GDP):

At this point, the discussions appear to be shaping up similar to our own expectations regarding the size of the additional fiscal measures. However, while we believed that Congress would provide around $200bn to state and local governments, it looks likely that if Congress acts this month, it would include only around $100bn for state and local governments, directed to schools.

And as we wait for details on the full stimulus package, something ominous: according to Goldman, “if Congress acts this month, it could be the last major installment of fiscal relief. If Congress passes fiscal legislation this month, it will likely create a new set of expiring policies in March or April 2021, which could pressure lawmakers to pass additional fiscal relief.”

While this might create some upside risk to our fiscal assumptions, we would expect the amount of additional fiscal measures Congress passes next year to be modest. With warming weather and vaccine distribution well underway by that point, another package worth several hundred billion dollars seems unlikely.

This means that another round of payments to individuals and aid to state and local governments could pass in early 2021 only if Democrats win both Senate seats in Georgia. Prediction markets currently put the odds that Democrats win both seats at around one in three. If they win both seats, Democrats will likely pass additional measures to provide state and local relief as well as payments to individuals, along with some other fiscal priorities that Congress is likely to omit from any fiscal legislation it passes this month. That could add an incremental $300bn to $800bn to the total fiscal relief we expect under a divided government scenario.

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Another COVID Warning From Bill Gates: “The Fall Will Be Worse Than The Summer”

Bill Gates is still warning and pushing new COVID-19 scare tactics. Gates, who is heavily invested in a vaccine for the coronavirus scamdemic wants everyone to fear the second wave because this fall will be worse than the summer.

“The fall is going to be worse than the summer,” Gates told POLITICO. “All the numbers are ticking up and there was always a very good chance … that we would see more transmission. Until the new tools come … all we have is our behavior, wearing masks.” New tools, meaning the vaccine.

Are Face Masks & COVID Rituals Occultist Symbols For Submission?

There are over 7 million confirmed cases in the U.S., and at least 210,00 people have died. According to the White House Task Force, 26 states are now in the coronavirus “red zone” for new cases this week, with 24 in the “yellow zone” and none in the “green zone.” Is anyone surprised? They pretty much told us we’d have to deal with the invention of a second wave.

Gates and his wife, Melinda, run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated hundreds of millions of dollars towards coronavirus research, treatment, and testing, along with the search for a vaccine.

Earlier this year, Gates laid out a three-part plan for eliminating coronavirus: developing the capacity to make the necessary vaccines, obtaining the funding to pay for the vaccines, and creating a system to deliver the vaccines worldwide.

“To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science,” Gates said in a previous statement. “It needs breakthrough generosity. When COVID-19 vaccines are ready, this funding and global coordination will ensure that people all over the world will be able to access them. –Yahoo News

Censorship: Facebook Bans Anti-Vaccine Ads Ahead of COVID Vaccine Rollout

Bill Gates Warning: “We’ll Have a Deadlier Pandemic”

“It’s very impressive how the pharmaceutical industry has diverted resources, gotten involved,” Gates told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “The U.S. government, this is one category we’ve actually done a decent job, has funded the research here.”

The post Another COVID Warning From Bill Gates: “The Fall Will Be Worse Than The Summer” first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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Vaccine Update: The Military Has A HEAVY-HANDED Involvement In Operation Warp Speed

A new chart has shown just how heavy-handed the military’s involvement is in the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine under Operation Warp Speed.  The Trump administration has put the military in charge of the vaccine’s distribution, and President Donald Trump says it will be done in a “powerful way”.

Military Personnel OUTNUMBER Civilian Scientists In U.S. Vaccine Program

When President Trump unveiled Operation Warp Speed in May, he declared that it was “unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.”

The initiative — to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics — lacks the scale, and the degree of secrecy, of the effort to build the atomic bomb. But Operation Warp Speed is largely an abstraction in Washington, with little known about who works there other than its top leaders, or how it operates. Even pharmaceutical companies hoping to offer help or partnerships have labored to figure out who to contact.

An organizational chart of the $10 billion initiative, obtained by STAT, reveals the fullest picture yet of Operation Warp Speed: a highly structured organization in which military personnel vastly outnumber civilian scientists. –Stat News

If you are curious just how much involvement and force and coercion will be used, look no further than the chart below:

One senior federal health official told STAT News that he was struck by the presence of soldiers in military uniforms walking around the health department’s headquarters in downtown Washington and said that recently he has seen more than 100 officials in the corridors wearing “Desert Storm fatigues.” The United States military has historically been used for one thing: war. This is a war on us. The amount of military involvement in this vaccine should open everyone’s eyes to the gravity of the situation we have found ourselves in.

The Pentagon & CDC Will Join Together To Mass Distribute The COVID Vaccine

“Military personnel won’t be familiar with the health resources available in a community,” said John Auerbach, CEO of Trust for America’s Health, a group closely aligned with public health departments. “They don’t know who the doctors are or where the community health centers are located or what resources they have. They don’t know where the pharmacies are. Public health people do know, that’s part of what they do.”

Beyond obtaining the internal document from a federal official, STAT interviewed companies funded by Warp Speed. They found that more than a dozen key officials who have worked closely with the organization’s leaders. The reporting sheds light on the high degree of organization and specialization within the organization, as well as the extreme demands the initiative is placing on the companies it funds.

Operation Warp Speed’s central goal is to develop, produce, and distribute 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by January. That’s almost everyone in the United States. 

If you are still in some way deluded about whether or not they intend to vaccinate everyone (mandatory or not), I suggest you open your eyes and face reality. You cannot be adequately prepared if you continue to stick your head in the sand and ignore the obvious. It’s time to realize what’s happening so you can make preparations if you intend to say ‘no’ to this vaccine.

The post Vaccine Update: The Military Has A HEAVY-HANDED Involvement In Operation Warp Speed first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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ALL Of MSM Is In On It! Fox News Host Stops Gingrich From Talking About Soros-Elected DAs

More and more, as each day goes by, it appears that even “right-wing” mainstream media is on this gigantic scam and making it obvious. A Fox News host actually stopped Newt Gingrich from talking about George Soros-funded and elected district attorneys in cities that are bringing due to looting and rioting.

There is no more illusion of choice. The illusion is gone. We have no choice, they decide, we are supposed to obey. Harris Faulkner, a Fox News host, had Newt Gingrich on to discuss the damage being done by protestors funded by Geroge Soros. Along with Faulkner, a CIA spokesperson ganged up on former House speaker and political pundit Gingrich when he brought up the undisputed fact that George Soros funded candidates for prosecutors in riot-struck cities.

There are just some things the public shouldn’t know about or focus on, and it sure appears that we are supposed to be kept in the dark about almost everything.

“The number one problem in almost all the cities is George Soros-elected, left-wing, anti-police, pro-criminal district attorneys who refuse to keep people locked up,” Gingrich told the hosts of ‘Outnumbered’ on Wednesday.  “Both [Kamala] Harris and [Joe] Biden have talked very proudly about what they call progressive district attorneys,” he continued. “Progressive district attorneys are anti-police, pro-criminal, and overwhelmingly elected with George Soros’ money. They are a major cause of the violence we are seeing because they keep putting the violent criminals back on the street.”

NEWT SAYS TRUMP’S GONNA WIPE THE FLOOR WITH BIDEN AND WITH A VICTORY ‘DRAMATICALLY BIGGER’ THAN MOST EXPECT

He was cut off by panelist Melissa Francis – who hosts her own show on Fox Business – saying “I’m not sure we need to bring George Soros into this.” Fellow panelist Marie Harf – who was a spokeswoman for the CIA and the State Department during the Obama administration – joined in, arguing that “George Soros doesn’t need to be part of this conversation.”

“Okay, so it’s verboten?” Gingrich said, incredulous. After a long moment of awkward silence, host Harris Faulkner simply said “Okay, we’re going to move on.

Gingrich has tried to discuss Soros’ financing of violent left-wing groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter in a Fox News appearance recently. In early August, he told ‘Fox and Friends’ that Democrats are “owned by people who are financed by George Soros.”

 

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President Trump looking to put a hold on US funding to WHO

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his administration is looking into putting “a very powerful hold” on U.S. funding to the World Health Organization, saying the group “called it wrong” in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the details?

During a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House, President Trump slammed the W.H.O. for opposing his travel ban to China earlier in the outbreak and suggested America was not getting a return on its investment to the organization.

“The W.H.O., that’s the World Health Organization, receives vast amounts of money from the United States and we pay for a majority — the biggest portion of their money,” the president said. “They actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it, and they were wrong.”

“They’ve been wrong about a lot of things,” President Trump continued, saying the WHO “had a lot of information early” and criticizing the group for appearing “to be very China-centric.”

The president added, “So we will be looking into that very carefully, and we will put a hold on money spent to the W.H.O. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it, and we’re going to see. It is a great thing if it works, but when they call every shot wrong, that is no good.”

Earlier in the day, President Trump tweeted, “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”

Fox News reported that America “is the single largest contributor to the WHO,” and noted that in 2017 — the most recent budget numbers available — the U.S. covered nearly one quarter of the organization’s budget with a contribution of more than $500 million.

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Pentagon transfers $3.8 billion to fund border wall. Congress rages.

The Pentagon sent a notice to Congress Thursday afternoon announcing plans to repurpose $3.8 billion in order to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

What are the details?

The Department of Defense money was originally intended to pay for “new aircraft, naval ships, and equipment for the National Guard,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

In its report on the news, The Hill noted that the money is being repurposed as part of the Pentagon’s counter-drug fund. According to The Hill, the notice says that the money is going toward the “support of higher priority items” and is “required to provide support for counter-drug activities.”

“DHS has identified areas along the southern border of the United States that are being used by individuals, groups, and transnational criminal organizations as drug smuggling corridors, and determined that the construction of additional physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the United States border is necessary in order to impede and deny drug smuggling activities,” the notice says.

Last year, President Donald Trump declared the crisis at the southern border a national emergency. The declaration freed Trump to transfer military funds to pay for the border wall after Congress rejected appropriating the funding he requested.

Opponents of the declaration in Congress have repeatedly attempted to undo it but have thus far failed to block the president’s vetoes.

Some in Congress are raging

In response to the news, several congressional members on Capitol Hill are decrying the move as unconstitutional and dangerous.

“President Trump is once again disrespecting the separation of powers and endangering our security by raiding military resources to pay for his wasteful border wall,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement with Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.).

“The President has stolen from the men and women of our military, their families, and the American taxpayers all to pay for a failed campaign promise and endanger our national security,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate Appropriations Committee vice chairman, said.

On the Republican side, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), also expressed concern over the move and called on Congress to “take action.”

According to The Hill, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) also expressed regret over the move, despite his support for border wall construction.

“I like the wall, I support the president, I wish they’d find the money somewhere else,” Shelby said. “I wish we could fund it through the regular process.”

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