The money Congress allocated to save restaurants is not enough to meet the requested need.
"Restaurants and bars desperate for a lifeline during COVID-19 swarmed to apply for a new government grant to help them pay for rent, utilities, supplies and payroll. In just 10 days, the Small Business Administration has received 266,000 applications asking for $65 billion in aid, more than twice the amount provided by Congress," the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
"Industry lobbyists and activists, who spent a year begging Congress for help before lawmakers acted earlier this year, are already asking them to replenish the fund and keep local, well-loved restaurants afloat as the economy begins to recover. Joining their call is a bipartisan group of representatives and senators already working to persuade colleagues to put more money in the fund," the newspaper reported.
The industry was hit hard by the pandemic and government shutdowns.
"Perhaps no industry was hit as hard by the COVID-19 economic shutdowns as restaurants and bars. People largely stayed home and were cautioned to avoid crowded areas where they would have to take off their masks. Many restaurants tried switching to takeout, which requires less staff, set up expensive outdoor eating areas or hibernated over the winter hoping they'd be able to reemerge in the spring. But many didn't make it," the newspaper reported. "More than 110,000 restaurants closed in 2020, and 500,000 are in dire straits, according to a November survey conducted by the National Restaurant Assn. Thirty-seven percent of operators said it is unlikely their restaurant would still be in business six months from October without additional government relief packages, according to the survey."
Restaurants and bars desperate for a lifeline during COVID-19 swarmed to apply for a new government grant. In just… https://t.co/CJw2ITniSM— Sarah D. Wire (@Sarah D. Wire) 1620952498.0
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that New York prosecutors, as part of their investigation into the Trump Organization, are scrutinizing gifts and other "fringe benefits" the company paid its employees, which could theoretically have been a way for Trump, his family, and his higher-ranking officials to illegally avoid paying taxes on their compensation.
"As part of that line of inquiry, the prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney's office recently subpoenaed the records of an Upper West Side private school, seeking information about tuition payments Mr. Trump made on behalf of one of his top executives, according to two of the people familiar with the matter," reported Jonah Bromwich, Ben Protess, and William Rashbaum. "The subpoena sought information from Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School related to tens of thousands of dollars in tuition payments that Mr. Trump made over several years for at least one grandchild of the Trump organization's longtime chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg."
The tuition payments were first reported in the Wall Street Journal this week. Weisselberg has been a key interest of investigators for years, as he has been with the Trump family for decades, although he has claimed he does not handle the "legal side" of the organization's monetary affairs.
"Prosecutors' interest in any fringe benefits Mr. Trump may have provided to his employees is not limited to Mr. Weisselberg," said the report. "The investigators, working for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., have also asked the Trump Organization to turn over documents related to any benefits Mr. Trump or the company provided to some other employees, according to two of the people with knowledge, though it is unclear whether the company awarded any such benefits. Mr. Vance's investigation is also focused on whether Mr. Trump and the company manipulated property values to obtain certain loans and tax benefits, among other potential financial crimes."
The Bushes and Cheneys are two powerful families in Republican politics, and through George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, they produced a ticket that won the presidency twice and dominated the 2000s.
Fast-forward to today: members of the families find themselves on different sides over former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" about a "stolen" 2020 election, and are calling out each other publicly — as Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush did when he backed the House GOP's decision to expel Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from House leadership over her ongoing criticism of Trump's anti-democratic conspiracy theories.
"Republicans deserve leadership that represents the views of their constituents, not their own personal vendettas," said Bush on Twitter Wednesday. "We need leaders in Congress that stand up for conservative Republican ideology, and Liz Cheney is not that leader."
Republicans deserve leadership that represents the views of their constituents, not their own personal vendettas. W… https://t.co/9tdnOnKAaR— George P. Bush (@George P. Bush)1620908378.0
Cheney, who is in fact one of the most conservative members of Congress, hit back at Bush on a Fox News interview later on Thursday.
"He's misinformed," she said. "When you look at what we are facing as a nation, there is nothing that we need to do as Republicans than have a strong Republican Party that can attract back the voters that we lost in 2020. And that means that we have to be in a position where we are being clear: we stand for the rule of law."
Cheney v. Bush Asked about this tweet, Liz Cheney tells @BretBaier "well he's misinformed."… https://t.co/fSmRKHBKUf— Alex Thompson (@Alex Thompson)1620948565.0
The internal House GOP election to replace Cheney will take place shortly. Trump, and most House Republicans, appear to support Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a less conservative but more Trump-loyal figure, although she does have at least one challenger in Freedom Caucus Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).
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