The Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday said she expects "a strong bipartisan vote" on a $2 trillion rescue package, which Nancy Pelosi credited Democrats for winning worker-friendly concessions from the Republican-controlled Senate.
"We take some pride," Pelosi said, "that Congressional Democrats in the Senate and in the House were able to flip this over from [a] corporate, Republican, trickle-down version, to bubble-up, workers-first, families-first." The U.S. Senate's unanimous passage of a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill sent the unprecedented economic legislation to the House of Representatives, whose Democratic leaders hope to pass it on Friday.
The package is intended to flood the country with cash in a bid to stem the crushing impact on the economy of an intensifying epidemic that has killed more than 900 people in the United States and infected at least 60,000.
"The Chairman of the Fed, Mr. Powell, said to me, 'the interest rates are as low as they'll ever be.
Think big," Pelosi said.
She also compared the unprecedented cost of the legislation to a highly-partisan, Republican-led tax reform bill that passed in 2017.
"What we did, last night, and what we will do tomorrow, two trillion dollars, is about the cost of the tax scam that Republicans foisted on the nation to give 83 percent of the benefits to the top one percent," Pelosi said.
She called "every dollar" spent to combat the novel coronavirus an "investment in the lives and the livelihood of the American people." Thursday marked Pelosi's 80th birthday, which she said she was not celebrating "until I can hug my grand-babies."
[NFA] U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said legislation to help airline companies survive the fallout could only move through Congress with guarantees that lawmakers will work on a more comprehensive aid bill to help the unemployed, small businesses and revenue-depleted state and local governments. Conway G. Gittens reports.
On Thursday, US stocks fell 320 points. The drop comes even as weekly jobless-claims data came in better than expected. Business Insider reports that weekly jobless claims fell by more than 30,000 from the previous week, to 860,000. Tech stocks led the decline. Investors continued to process Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments expressing uncertainty about the economic recovery. Powell also said the Fed didn't expect to raise interest rates until at least 2023.
The Federal Reserve is targeting above 2% inflation. Scott Minerd, Guggenheim global CIO told Bloomberg on Wednesday it is "virtually impossible" for the Fed to achieve that without creating a bubble in asset prices. "The reality is that the inefficiencies that are building up in the system." Minerd said misinformation and mistaken investments will pose a challenge to investors.
Equity benchmark indices traded lower during early hours on Thursday on the back of weak global cues after the US Federal Reserve indicated the interest rate could stay close to zero for years. At 10:15 am, the BSE S-P Sensex was down by 141 points or 0.36 per cent at 39,162 while the Nifty 50 lost by 39 points or 0.34 per cent at 11,565. Except for Nifty IT and pharma, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative terrain with Nifty private bank losing by 1 per cent and financial service by 0.9 per cent. Among stocks, ICICI Bank dropped by 1.3 per cent to Rs 369.85 per share while HDFC Bank lowered by 1 per cent. The other major losers were Hindalco, Tata Consultancy Services, Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors.However, HCL Technologies moved up by 2 per cent to Rs 811.20 per share and Tech Mahindra by 1.7 per cent. Dr Reddy's, Hero MotoCorp, Grasim and Asian Paints also traded with a positive bias.