Tag: Congress

Congress debates leaning on Fed or PPP for small business aid

As small and medium sized businesses struggle to keep their doors open, policymakers are pointing their fingers at one another trying to figure out where support should come from.

In a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, members of Congress pressed the Federal Reserve to expand the scope of its emergency lending program to Main Street. 

But Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell countered that the central bank’s program is ill fitted for already debt-burdened businesses, suggesting that Congress prioritize more Paycheck Protection Program loans under the Small Business Administration.

“Trying to underwrite the credit of hundreds of thousands of very small businesses would be very difficult,” Powell said of the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program in testimony. “I think PPP is a better way to approach that space in the market and I think you are well advised to do that.”

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on oversight of the Treasury Department's and Federal Reserve's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Pool
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies during a
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Small business leaders urge Congress to pass standalone COVID-19 relief package

The Small Business Roundtable has penned a letter to congressional leadership on behalf of 30 million small businesses urging the federal government to pass a standalone package for a new round of stimulus to help them weather the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter notes that small businesses are “on the brink of recovery and continuing to struggle to survive” due to liquidity challenges for those who have yet to reopen or who are limited by capacity restrictions and other critical health and safety protocols to protect the public, consumers, and employees from COVID-19.

“While we acknowledge the unprecedented support and resources that were directed to small businesses earlier this spring, more must be done and we write today to urge that same swift, bipartisan

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AACC Urges Congress to Fund Laboratory Training Programs to Better Prepare the U.S. for Future Pandemics

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.


WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In the face of a chronic shortage of professionals who are qualified to perform clinical laboratory tests—including those for COVID-19—AACC released a position statement today calling on Congress to provide federal funding to expand clinical laboratory training programs. This will help to ensure that labs have the staffing they need to deliver timely, accurate test results, particularly during public health emergencies such as the current coronavirus pandemic.

Read the position statement here: https://www.aacc.org/health-and-science-policy/advocacy/position-statements/2020/modernization-of-clia-moderate-and-high-complexity-testing

In spite of labs’ heroic efforts to meet the demand for coronavirus testing in the U.S., the country’s overall testing capacity continues to fall short of the levels needed to help contain the pandemic. As part of an ongoing AACC survey of U.S. labs, the association has found that a

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Members of Congress Call on USAGM to Explain J-1 Visa Denial | Voice of America

WASHINGTON – A group of House and Senate members on Monday called on Michael Pack, head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), to justify decisions that they say risk endangering the journalists and mission of USAGM’s networks, including Voice of America.

FILE – Michael Pack, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Agency for Global Media, is seen at his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Sept. 19, 2019. Pack’s nomination was confirmed June 4, 2020.

The nine Democratic lawmakers signed a letter to Pack requesting he explain how the agency’s actions, including not renewing visas for foreign journalists and the CEO’s comments on security risks, align with Pack’s stated desire to improve morale and the ability of the outlets to report and work more effectively.

Among the nine are Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and

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Opinion | Here’s a proposal that could lead Congress out of its impasse on pandemic relief

These events may signify a total impasse, impossible to resolve before the Nov. 3 election — if then. Or they may represent the inevitable political point-scoring each party, and its various factions, had to go through before striking a deal that is in both sides’ interest, as well as the country’s.

The second, more hopeful interpretation suddenly looks more plausible after Tuesday. In part, this is because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said that lawmakers “have to stay here until we have a bill,” despite a legislative calendar that calls for a month-long recess beginning Oct. 2. That’s a clear sign that she’s willing to bargain. And the Problem Solvers Caucus, a 50-person group of moderate House members, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, has released the outline of a compromise that could give majorities in the House and Senate at least some of what they say they want.

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States plan for cuts as Congress deadlocks on more virus aid

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FILE – In this May 14, 2020, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his revised 2020-2021 state budget during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. Spending cuts are compounding for schools and state programs, reserve funds are dwindling, and some governors have begun proposing new taxes and fees to shore up state finances shaken by the coronavirus pandemic. With Congress deadlocked over a new coronavirus relief package, many states haven’t had the luxury of waiting to see whether more federal money will come their way.

AP

Spending cuts to schools, childhood vaccinations and job-training programs. New taxes on millionaires, cigarettes and legalized marijuana. Borrowing, drawing from rainy day funds and reducing government workers’ pay.

These are some actions states are considering to shore up their finances amid a sharp drop in tax revenue caused by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Congress deadlocked for months

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States plan for cuts as Congress deadlocks on more virus aid – News – Austin American-Statesman

Spending cuts to schools, childhood vaccinations and job-training programs. New taxes on millionaires, cigarettes and legalized marijuana. Borrowing, drawing from rainy day funds and reducing government workers’ pay.

These are some actions states are considering to shore up their finances amid a sharp drop in tax revenue caused by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Congress deadlocked for months on a new coronavirus relief package, many states haven’t had the luxury of waiting to see whether more money is on the way. Some that have delayed budget decisions are growing frustrated by the uncertainty.

As the U.S. Senate returns to session Tuesday, some governors and state lawmakers are again urging action on proposals that could provide hundreds of billions of additional dollars to states and local governments.

“There is a lot at stake in the next federal stimulus package and, if it’s done wrong, I think it could

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