The Wider World

House OKs $900 billion aid bill

THE HOUSE of Representatives passed a $900 billion stimulus and relief bill Monday night (Shutterstock photo).

The U.S. House of Representatives finally passed a long-awaited $900 billion pandemic relief package Monday night.  The measure, which would send cash to individuals and businesses as well as pay to vaccinate millions of Americans from the coronavirus prevailed in the House by a bipartisan 359-53 vote.

The Senate was expected to follow shortly thereafter.

A temporary $300 supplemental unemployment benefit that will last for 11 weeks is part of the deal, along with a $600 direct payment to most Americans, according to the Associated Press. There’s also money for businesses, eateries, theaters, schools and others.

“I expect we’ll get the money out by the beginning of next week – $2,400 for a family of four – so much relief just in time for the holidays,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin, according to The New York Times.

The final bill – assuming it passes the Senate and is signed by President Donald Trump – represents a compromise between a Democratic proposal for $1.8 trillion and a Republican plan for $500 billion.

The News: U.S. coronavirus deaths falling

  • Deaths from the coronavirus in the United States declined Monday for the fourth consecutive day, according to United Press International. Sunday’s totals were about 1,500, a drop from a high of 3.700 one day last week, reports Johns Hopkins University.
  • Wall Street didn’t seem that impressed by the prospect of the stimulus bill, suggesting that some investors feel that the package is too small and won’t be effective. The Dow Jones Average rose a modest 37.40 points, but the S&P 500 fell 14.49 points and the Nasdaq retreated 13.12 points.
  • Protesters battled police in Salem, Oregon Monday as they attempted to disrupt a special session of the state legislature. According to USA Today, some of about 100 people, including some of the “far-right” Patriot Prayer group, broke glass doors in the building and “used chemical agents” on police, who responded with pepper balls. Two persons were arrested. Lawmakers were meeting to consider an extension to an emergency eviction moratorium.

The Weather: Uh-oh … More wind on the way

The prospect of gusty winds up to 25 miles an hour has led to a fire weather watch for Orange County Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Tuesday is predicted to have patchy dense fog yielding to sunny conditions later in the day for West Orange County. The daytime high should be 67 with an overnight low of 44. A bit warmer (72 and 73 degrees) Wednesday and Thursday with winds and more clouds (lows of 47). Everything should be calm by Christmas Day – Friday, with a high of 68 and an overnight low of 47. In the Huntington Beach area, highs should be about five degrees cooler during the day.

The Sports: Clippers open with win over Lakers

The newest edition of the crosstown rivalry of the Lakers and the Clippers debuted Tuesday night with a slightly unexpected result.

Launched by a torrid first period, the Clippers upset the reigning NBA champions 116-109. After the Lakers received their championship rings, they saw their rivals burn them for 39 points in the first 15 minutes and never look back from there.

Paul George had 33 points for the winners and Kawhi Leonard added 26. For the Lakers, LeBron James had 22 points and Anthony Davis added 18.

The Lakers drew within two points by halftime, 56-54, but the Clips went on another tear in the third period, building up an 11-point edge.

“I just played basketball, simple as that,” said George. “I applied the work that I put in this offseason. It’s not going to be pretty every night but tonight I got it going.”

The Clippers are back in action Friday hosting the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center, while the Clippers are in Denver Friday playing the Nuggets.

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