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Desperate Americans Hit by Pandemic Beg Congress, Trump to Pass Economic Relief Bill | Investing News

Desperate Americans Hit by Pandemic Beg Congress, Trump to Pass Economic Relief Bill | Investing News

By Brad Brooks, Mimi Dwyer and Rich McKay

(Reuters) – Sylvia Padilla spent last Thursday checking food pantries in Lubbock, Texas for groceries to feed herself, her daughter and three-year-old grandson.

Some places were closed, others had nothing available. Outside the shuttered St. John’s United Methodist Church, Padilla, 50, recounted her struggle to survive during the economic disaster that the novel coronavirus pandemic had dumped upon her, choking words out through tears of fear and frustration.

“This is like a nightmare I can’t wake up from,” Padilla said, resting her face in her hands. “It really feels like a nightmare, but it’s our reality.”

Like many Americans, Padilla is barely getting by and says she desperately needs government help. She received a $1,200 check in April from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on March 27.

The check helped her pay back rent she owed and she and others are hoping that lawmakers and the Trump administration can reach accord soon on another relief package after months of disagreements.

“We’ve got some potatoes and beans at home. A bit of flour for tortillas. We’re just trying to make that stretch,” said Padilla, whose business selling food to construction workers ended with the pandemic and her daughter last month lost her job in retail sales.

“A new stimulus check would really mean the world to me right now.”

After March’s shutdowns to curb the spread of the virus, unemployment in the United States shot to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Many jobs returned as parts of the economy reopened, and consumer spending rebounded, thanks in part to the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill.

Now that cash, paid directly to individual Americans and small businesses to pay

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Trump talks up economic progress, after Harris-Pence debate focused on job losses

Trump talks up economic progress, after Harris-Pence debate focused on job losses

President Donald Trump quickly put the economic focus back on himself Thursday morning, after Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, which covered more economic issues than his barb-trading battle with Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

“Our numbers are going to be great, our numbers for the third quarter are going to be through the roof, retail sales, employment, all of these numbers are going to be great,” Trump told Fox Business Network in a phone-in interview.

The president said he had shut down stimulus talks because both sides were haggling over terms and “it wasn’t going anywhere,” he said. “I don’t want to play games. And then we reopened, and I see the markets are doing well but I think we have a really good chance of doing something.”

Wednesday’s debate brought a more civil tone atop simmering tensions between the two candidates and covered, albeit briefly in the two-minute response allotment, more economic issues.

With permanent layoffs rising and recovery slowing, money is very much on the mind for many households.

“The American economy — the American comeback — is on the ballot,” Vice President Mike Pence said.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., made it clear that economic recovery can’t happen without organized coronavirus relief and response, said John Hudak, senior fellow for governance studies at The Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank.

Pence came out to make the “tough argument” that he and President Trump will rebuild the economy back to where it was before Covid-19, Hudak said. But that line of discussion is challenging to uphold because part of that recovery is predicated on further relief — which is currently in limbo after Trump called off stimulus talks.

“Both tickets have weaknesses on the economy and opposing candidates worked to exploit those,” Hudak said.

Conservative economists praised Pence’s performance on

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Author Ryan Girdusky says Trump should focus on economic stimulus to make comeback before election

Author Ryan Girdusky says Trump should focus on economic stimulus to make comeback before election

Author Ryan Girdusky said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE should focus on economic stimulus in the final 22 days before Election Day.

Girdusky told Hill.TV’s “Rising” that he thinks the “most important thing” the president could do is give direct payments to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The author acknowledged that talks between the White House and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump slight against Gold Star families adds to military woes Pelosi calls Trump administration policies on testing and tracing inadequate Trump claims he is ‘immune’ from coronavirus, defends federal response MORE (D-Calif.) have hit obstacles but said Trump should use executive powers to distribute stimulus checks. 

“I think that it’s really important to try to get that direct aid out,” he said. “I think that direct $1,200 or $1,800 check would be really, really important.” 

Girdusky said Trump should zero in on assisting those who make less than $25,000, saying “that’s a huge chunk of the population” that “could flip the entire election.”

“Remember as much as it appeals to sit there and talk about the stock market, there’s far more people in this country who make up the workers … than shareholders, and that’s who he should be appealing to in this last 20 day push,” he said.

Last week, the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, which includes direct payments. But Republicans expressed displeasure with the plan in a phone call over the weekend, and House Democrats, who have passed two coronavirus relief packages of their own, have called it insufficient.

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Biden leads in Arizona as suburban women abandon Trump

Biden leads in Arizona as suburban women abandon Trump

Call it their fail-safe option.

If Joe Biden were to lose a critical Midwest battleground like Michigan or Wisconsin, Democrats are counting on Arizona to bail him out, acting as a potential replacement state with enough electoral power to prevent President Donald Trump’s re-election.

After Trump carried this emerging swing state by just over 91,000 votes four years ago, some Republicans are now already bracing for a defeat that could “cut deeply down the ballot,” as one GOP aide in state government put it.

With early voting now underway and Democrats consistently tracking Biden with a 3-to-4 point lead, the Trump campaign is planning additional visits here from the ticket as soon as this week, attempting to salvage a reliably red bastion as suburban women are turning away from the GOP in droves.

“It’s fairly close. If anybody has a slight polling advantage it would be Biden,” said Constantin Querard, a conservative political consultant in Phoenix, “but the Trump campaign is much stronger on the ground.”

While the Trump operation has maintained a vigorous door-knocking presence throughout most of the pandemic, a battery of Democratic groups have been working online to mobilize the two constituencies most crucial to their success: Latinos — which now make up 24 percent of eligible voters here — and moderate Republican women.

Bettina Nava, a former state director for Sen. John McCain, falls into both groups. The lifelong Republican welled up in tears during a recent zoom call with the Arizona Democratic Party as she spoke about her decision to endorse Biden due to Trump’s divisiveness.

“I’m following my conscience,” she said. “Under a Biden-Harris ticket, we can return to those civil conversations about the great debates of our time. That’s what we need to be doing. You notice I didn’t say agreement over

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Eric Trump on new NYT analysis of father’s taxes: ‘My father has lost a fortune’

Eric Trump on new NYT analysis of father’s taxes: ‘My father has lost a fortune’

Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump, top Republicans recover from COVID-19; stimulus bill remains in limbo Eric Trump claims his father ‘literally saved Christianity’ Eric Trump suggests clear podiums for presidential debates to avoid notes MORE defended his father’s business dealings in response a New York Times article published on Saturday that unveiled reported White House favoritism toward hundreds of companies, lobbying groups and foreign leaders who stayed at President TrumpDonald John TrumpNorth Korea unveils large intercontinental ballistic missile at military parade Trump no longer considered a risk to transmit COVID-19, doctor says New ad from Trump campaign features Fauci MORE‘s commercial properties.

The newspaper reported that the president used his political position to create new, more lucrative forms of income through his hotels and golf courses.

“We’ve lost a fortune. My father has lost a fortune running for president. He doesn’t care. He wanted to do what was right. The last thing I can tell you Donald Trump needs in the world is this job. He wakes up in the morning, and he has to fight you, and he has to fight the entire media. He has to fight the Democrats, and he gets punched in the head every single day,” Eric Trump told Jonathan Karl of ABC’s “This Week.”

Karl quickly interjected, asking for a response that directly addressed the claims made by the Times. Eric Trump instead called into question former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocratic poll shows neck-and-neck race brewing

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