Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has blocked bipartisan efforts to pass a second round of stimulus checks, arguing that such checks are “mortgaging our children’s future” despite the fact that millions of Americans are heading into the new year facing surging hunger and the looming threat of mass evictions.
Fellow GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri had attempted to get consent from Senate colleagues for a bill that would provide an additional $1,200 to individuals who earn up to $75,000, independent of the roughly $900 billion compromise package being hotly negotiated as holidays draw closer.
“What I’m proposing is what every senator has supported already, this year. … What I’m proposing will give working folks in my state and across this country a shot … at getting back up on their feet,” Hawley said, reports The Hill.
The Wisconsin senator dismissed the possibility of such checks as “mortgaging our children’s future,” despite his support for the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March as well as the more recent $741 billion defense budget. The move is consisted with Republicans’ ham-fisted return to a fiscal conservatism that was largely ignored while President Donald Trump increased the federal debt by $7 trillion to the current $27 trillion.
Hawley, on the other hand, had teamed up with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in a bipartisan push to bring urgent direct payments to individuals, rather than businesses, who are buckling under the pressure of the pandemic and related sharp economic downturn.
“Nothing could be more targeted, no relief could be more important, than relief for working people,” Hawley said.
“Now the senator is right,” Hawley added. “This body has spent trillions of dollars this year alone on COVID relief. We’re getting ready to spend, apparently, another trillion dollars more.
“And yet, working people are told they may be last, if they get relief at all,” he continued. “I just urge members of these bodies, go home and try explaining that to the people of your state.”
However, Johnson argued that the check go too far and that such additional aid to Americans would mean “mortgaging our children’s future.”
He also used his privilege as a senator to block the bill. Under the Senate’s rules, any senator can request the passage of a bill but any other senator is allowed to block it.
“I completely support some kind of program targeted for small businesses. … So what I fear we’re going to do with this bipartisan package and what the senator from Missouri is talking about is the same thing, is a shotgun approach,” Johnson explained.
“We will not have learned the lessons from our very hurried, very rushed earlier relief packages,” Johnson added.
Johnson had raised similar points during stimulus talks in October.
“I came from the Tea Party. We are concerned,” Johnson said at the time, according to CNN.
Hawley vowed to continue fighting to pass the bill alongside Sanders.
The continued grappling on Capitol Hill comes as Americans continue struggling to remain afloat in an economy ravaged by the coronavirus.
The federal ban on evictions set to expire at the end of the year could see a major crisis of people without roofs over their heads come 2021.
In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an unprecedented order that banned evictions between September 4 and December 31.
The CDC warned that anywhere between 30 to 40 million people could face evictions without the measure, adding that “a wave of evictions on that scale would be unprecedented in modern times” and contribute to the spread of the pandemic due to people moving into closer quarters in shared housing or simply living on the streets.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.