H-1B workers pay billions in taxes to fund programmes that benefit American citizens

The Donald Trump administration has often blamed H-1B workers for stealing jobs from Americans. But this myopic view ignores how much these foreign workers contribute to the US economy.

As per a new study, an estimated three million H-1B visa holders contribute hundreds of billions to the US government programmes like social security and medicare—which they don’t even benefit from—and to local businesses and American companies.

The study, conducted by immigrant...

California rolls back reopening plans as coronavirus cases climb – live

Jerome Powell, the new chair of the Federal Reserve, is slated to tell Congress tomorrow that the battle with Covid-19 and its economic fallout will be long and hard-fought.

“The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain and will depend in large part on our success in containing the virus.” He adds: It’s “hard to capture in words” the lives upended.

On Monday the House passed in a vote of 234-179 the most significant expansion of the Affordable Care Act since its inception in 2010.

The vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act was largely symbolic as it is unlikely to pass in the Senate. Even if it did, Donald Trump would immediately veto it, the White House said on Monday.

The hours of debate before the vote allowed Democrats to point out, again and again, that the Trump administration is seeking to invalidate the ACA in a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that was initiated by a group of Republican attorneys general who contend the entire law is unconstitutional.

“As lives are shattered by the coronavirus, the protections of the Affordable Care Act are more important now, more than ever,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Noting that both Trump and congressional Republicans promise to preserve the law’s protections for people with preexisting medical conditions, she said: “Oh really? Then why are you in the United States Supreme Court to overturn them?”

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Coronavirus US: Florida again breaks one-day record for new cases – live

The Mississippi state government has started a process that will see the Confederate battle emblem removed from the state’s flag.

Breaking: House passed it with the two-thirds majority it required. It got immediate release, meaning Senate could take it up as soon as they want.

The latest: https://t.co/Jgcddn3i34 #msleg https://t.co/rKwKGkMmWt

The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new state flag. The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it.
If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it. pic.twitter.com/bf3vyzuObt

The Winston-Salem Journal reports on a disturbing development in the Bubba Wallace story. Wallace, Nascar’s only black driver, led a successful campaign to rid the stock-car racing series of the Confederate flag. Last week, a noose was found in his team’s garage although a subsequent investigation found the rope had been there since last fall, and Wallace was not the subject of a hate crime. Here’s what the Associated Press has to say on the latest development:

A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale online days after Nascar said a noose had been found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the top series’ only Black driver.

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Trump administration asks supreme court to axe Obamacare

Democrats call legal push amid coronavirus crisis an ‘act of unfathomable cruelty’

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The Trump administration has asked the US supreme court to invalidate the Obamacare lawthat added millions to the healthcare safety net but has been at the centre of political controversy.

The government advocate, Noel Francisco, argued in a filing late on Thursday that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one of Ba...

Coronavirus US live: death toll nears 80,000 as Trump rages over Russia

Precautions against Covid-19 infection have been stepped up at the White House but are hampered by the cramped and poorly ventilated conditions in the West Wing, Kevin Hassett, a special adviser to Donald Trump on the pandemic response, said on Sunday.

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has been talking to Fox News Sunday about the Trump administration’s attempts to reopen and restart the stalled US economy, and whether there will be another huge stimulus bill. Democrats who control the House want one of those but the White House doesn’t – that’s the short version.

The White House is “absolutely pushing for a payroll tax cut”, Mnuchin says. Most observers think that is a non-starter, because Democrats won’t let it. Payroll taxes, meaning deductions from regular paychecks, include funds for Social Security and Medicare, vital social benefits.

Related: US job losses have reached Great Depression levels. Did it have to be that way?

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Coronavirus US live: Pelosi says Trump’s WHO decision is ‘dangerous, illegal and will be challenged’

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5.21pm BST

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has extended the city’s stay-at-home order through at least May 15, ordering sc...

Coronavirus US live: Biden doubts Democratic convention can happen in July

Banks are warning the $350 billion small business loan program may not be ready by Friday as scheduled.

Politico reports:

The lenders complain that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin boxed them in with an unrealistic deadline and that the ground rules they’ve been given for the program, which is intended to deliver rapid aid to a huge number of ailing businesses, could delay the assistance for weeks or longer.

The banks, which will be responsible for processing loan applications and doling out money, are expecting millions of applications from businesses. Some fear a disaster that could dwarf the failed kickoff of the Obamacare enrollment web site in 2013.

Georgia’s governor said he only learned days ago that those with coronavirus who show no symptoms can still spread the virus, an astounding claim from a state leader considering health experts have been warning about asymptomatic transmissions for weeks.

A stunning admission of deadly ignorance from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who says he only just learned that asymptomatic people can transmit #Covid19. “[I]ndividuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad, but we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours.” pic.twitter.com/T7NZWk2GDR

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Coronavirus US live: Biden says Trump plan to relax physical distancing could be ‘catastrophic’

Here’s a clip of World Health Organization director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, condemning calls to bypass or lift social distancing restrictions.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus strongly warns against lifting social distancing measures too soon.

"The last thing any country needs is to open schools and businesses, only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence." https://t.co/l7BtEcViAu pic.twitter.com/lsyAFYMbRV

The federal agency in charge of nursing homes nationwide confirmed that 140 have at least one confirmed coronavirus case. But the Washington Post reports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are refusing to say which ones.

From the Post:

Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control, the press release tucked the new figure in the seventh paragraph. The release said although “147 is a small fraction of the over 15,000 nursing homes across the country, given the disproportionate effect on our nation’s older population, this is a cause for concern.”

A CDC spokesman, Scott Pauley, told The Post he was “not sure [the list] will be released at this time.”

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Coronavirus US live: stimulus bill fails in Senate as experts urge Trump not to roll back social restrictions

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6.36pm GMT

The Washington Post reports on a growing rift in the Trump administration as the president weighs l...

Trump signs coronavirus bill ordering free testing and aid for workers

Measure introduced by Democrats will expand Medicaid and unemployment benefits and mandate paid sick leave for some

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Donald Trump has approved legislation that will expand Medicaid and unemployment benefits, mandate paid sick leave and childcare leave for certain employees, and order free coronavirus testing, in an effort to to limit the damage from the pandemic.

The bill, introduced by House ...