- USA stimulus package date becomes clear
- Italian Prime Minister Conte plans to resign
- Merkel, who had “icy” relations with Trump, invited Biden to Germany
USA Stimulus Package Date Becomes Clear
The dates for the stimulus package of US President Joe Biden, who is closely followed by the global markets, have started to become clear. US Senate Majority Leader Democrat Chuck Schumer says the package is aimed to be approved in mid-March.
US Senate Majority Leader Democrat Chuck Schumer announced that he aims to safely pass the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan announced by US President Joe Biden in mid-March.
“We will try to pass the package next month, within the next 1.5 months,” said Schumer. In his statement last week, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi stated that she hopes the package will pass in the first two weeks of the new administration’s mandate.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reminded that millions of people’s unemployment insurance payments will expire in March, and emphasized the importance of the emergency passage of the package, in which the Republicans reacted to some articles. “We can get to a point where we don’t have enough funding for vaccine distribution,” Psaki said, adding that Biden personally conveyed the urgency of the issue to both Democrats and Republicans.
Although the Democrats won the Senate majority in the last election, the support of Republicans is also required for the package to be accepted. Democrats, therefore, plan to try to speed up this process by using a special budget arrangement. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell holds substantial leverage over the process, given the 50-50 split and the power-sharing agreement between the two parties. And two members of the Democratic caucus might prevent the stimulus package from passing as written.
Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Angus King of Maine have objected to certain aspects of the proposal, such as direct payments going to families making $300,000 a year.
There is a way for the Democrats to pass the bill without a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority.
Instead of going down the conventional path, Democrats could use the budget reconciliation process, which would allow them to pass the bill with just 51 votes. That could theoretically happen with no Republican support and with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
Italian Prime Minister Conte Plans to Resign
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is set to hand in his resignation on Tuesday, following criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 85,000 Italians have died with Covid-19. It is reported that Conte will convene the council of ministers and announce his intention to resign to his cabinet. Mr Conte hopes to be given a mandate by the president to form a stronger government after losing his majority in the Senate. Should he fail to do so, the task could fall to someone else, and – failing that – fresh elections will be held.
In the government crisis that started with the breakdown of the four-party coalition on January 13, a new phase is expected tomorrow.
In a written statement made by the Italian Prime Ministry, it was stated that the council of ministers will meet tomorrow morning, “Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will announce to his ministers his request to go to the Presidency to resign. Prime Minister Conte will meet with President Sergio Mattarella after the cabinet meeting.”
According to the news in the Italian press, Conte, whose majority in the Senate was at risk after the separation of the Italia Viva party from the coalition, took the resignation on the agenda after the vote of the Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede in the Senate revealed that his government was in the minority.
It is stated that Conte will resign in order to establish a stronger coalition in the parliament under his leadership and for the President to hold consultations on this issue.
President Mattarella, who has been giving messages that the uncertainty over the government will be lifted as soon as possible so that Italy, which is struggling with the epidemic crisis, will not experience a political crisis, is a matter of curiosity.
Scenarios appeared in the media where Mattarella could initiate consultations for the new government with the political parties represented in parliament if Prime Minister Conte accepts his resignation, or he could promptly task Conte to re-establish a government with broader support.
Merkel, Who Had “icy” Relations with Trump, Invited Biden to Germany
US President Joe Biden in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed international politics. The Associated Press notes that Merkel’s relationship with Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, began as “icy.”
On January 25, US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a telephone conversation, during which they discussed relations between the countries. This was announced by the official representative of the German government Steffen Seibert, the information is posted on the website of the Chancellor.
“The Chancellor congratulated Joe Biden on the inauguration. At the same time, she declared Germany’s readiness to take responsibility for solving international problems together with its European and transatlantic partners,” the message says.
On Thursday, Merkel said during a press conference that Germany and the US now shared more common ground now that Biden has replaced Trump.
“There is simply a far broader scope for political consensus with President Biden,” Merkel told reporters, adding that Biden’s actions since taking office showed that he was more closely aligned with Germany.
Merkel invited Biden to visit Germany “as soon as the pandemic situation allows.” At the same time, the Chancellor “welcomed the return of the United States to the World Health Organization”, which was decided by Biden.
“The Chancellor and the President also touched upon foreign policy issues, in particular those related to Afghanistan and Iran, as well as trade and climate policy. The Chancellor welcomed President Biden’s decision to return the United States to the Paris Agreement,” Seibert said.
The Associated Press notes that in recent days, Biden has made a number of calls to “foreign colleagues” in an attempt to restructure US relations with other countries after four years of the “America First” policy promoted by the now ex-President Donald Trump.
The White House said in a statement that Biden conveyed that he viewed the U.S. partnership with NATO and the European Union “as the cornerstone of our collective security and shared democratic values.”