Obama: Trump failed to take pandemic, presidency seriously
Throughout the day, Trump and Biden, both septuagenarians, threw stinging barbs at one another that at moments verged into schoolyard taunt territory. “In other words, if one of these maniacs come along and they say we’re gonna end fracking, we’re gonna destroy the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," Trump said in announcing his memorandum. I love Joe Biden, and he will be a great president," Obama said Saturday. Trump told Pennsylvania voters that his administration has done “an incredible job” dealing with the pandemic. “We’re gonna beat this virus and get it under control and the first step to doing that is beating Donald Trump," Biden said.
Despite COVID crisis, Congress seeks to do its day job
On Friday, the House passed a $259 billion funding bill for foreign aid and the Interior, Agriculture, and Veterans Affairs departments along party lines. The measure is the first annual spending measure to pass either the House or Senate this year, but it has scant chance of becoming law, serving instead as a springboard for negotiations down the line. And if Trump loses the election, Democrats are likely to wait until the Biden administration is in place before wrapping up the annual bills, which fund the annual operations of federal Cabinet agencies. The Senate Appropriations panel canceled plans for drafting its 12 annual bills after Democrats served notice they would offer amendments on COVID relief and policing reform that Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., deemed too politically troublesome. As a result, Congress is likely to return to Washington in September to handle a stopgap funding bill that would last until December to prevent a campaign season government shutdown.
White House, GOP at odds over jobless aid in virus bill
Outraged Democrats warned that time is wasting on GOP infighting as the virus worsens, jobless aid expires and the death toll rises. Plans shifted after Trump was forced to abandon his push for a payroll tax break, which his party opposed, and the White House turned to the new priorities. One sticking point for Republicans trying to resolve their differences with the White House is how to cut the $600 weekly jobless benefit boost that is expiring. An administration official granted anonymity to discuss the private talks said the White House viewed the Senate GOP's proposal as too cumbersome and the $200 boost as too high. Next steps are uncertain after days of closed-door GOP negotiations at the Capitol with top White House officials, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff.