1 Trump To Launch Second COVID-19 Taskforce Geared Towards Economy
President Trump says over two million coronavirus tests have been completed – and he maintains America has done more tests than any other country. He called the tests "highly sophisticated and highly accurate." Meanwhile...according to reports, Trump is expected to unveil a second Coronavirus taskforce, one that will be primarily focused on the economy. A senior Trump Administration official says the taskforce will be a mix of private-sector and top administration officials including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow. Unlike the current task force, this second group is not expected to meet every day.
2 Senate Fails To Move Payroll Protection Program Plan Forward
Democrats are blocking an expansion of the Payroll Protection Program because they say it's not enough. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had urged them not to stop something they want on unanimous consent in an effort to get more. McConnell had proposed increasing the amount available to loan small businesses from $350- to 600-billion. Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin said the urgent needs are not addressed in the bill Republicans brought forward today. He said only 30% of the Payroll Protection Program has been used. The argument is that other parts of the passed stimulus bill are already out of money and it needs to be addressed immediately. Many of those programs benefit small businesses and they have a desperate need for funds. For the record, Dems offered an amendment on unanimous consent bill, which Republicans blocked.
3 Texans Running Into Unemployment Roadblocks; TWC Working On Tech Issues
Many Texans seeking to file unemployment claims are running into technology issues. Ed Serna, executive director of the Texas Workforce Commission, confirmed yesterday there have been delays but that all claims will be back-dated. Serna added that over 400 incoming phone lines have been installed, along with adding three outside call centers to help ease the influx of requests. The T-W-C website has also relaunched its "chat with us" box and the site will soon be updated to accommodate 20-thousand users within one second