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This is the 1988 law Trump could use to trigger an ’emergency’ response to coronavirus

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Passed by Congress during President Ronald Reagan’s second term, the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 was subsequently invoked by President Bill Clinton in 2000. Law & Crime reporter Jerry Lambe explains how that 1988 law might be invoked again — this time by President Donald Trump in response to coronavirus.

Invoking the Stafford Act, Lambe notes, would pave the way for the federal government to give emergency relief to state and local governments under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — which is now part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Lambe points out that the Stafford Act is “designed to allow the government to provide orderly systematic assistance to local governments in the aftermath of natural disasters” and “differs from disaster relief funds generally provided following major earthquakes or hurricanes.”

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In 2000, Lambe recalls, President Bill Clinton “invoked the Stafford Act to declare a state of emergency in response to the West Nile virus outbreak in the northeast United States in 2000.” And according to Michael Coen (who served as director of FEMA under President Barack Obama), invoking the Stafford Act shows that Trump is finally taking the threat of coronavirus seriously. Coen told NBC News, “To me, this is another indication that the president and the White House are finally aware of the gravity of the situation. They need to consider all tools available to them and have contingencies for action.”

Similarly, Tim Manning, former deputy administrator for FEMA, told NBC News that he finds it “reassuring” that the Stafford Act is being invoked.

The Stafford Act, an amended version of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, was named after the late Sen. Robert Stafford — who also served as governor of Vermont and was the type of moderate Rockefeller Republican who is hard to find in today’s GOP.

So far, the coronavirus outbreak has caused around 3100 deaths worldwide — six of them in Washington State.


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China vows to retaliate for Trump’s Rose Garden press conference — and could impose new sanctions on America

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US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and had signed into law an act that authorises sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the international finance hub.

In a discursive news conference dominated by attacks on his domestic rivals, Trump declared himself to be the toughest president ever on China, a country he is increasingly positioning as his nemesis ahead of November elections.

Trump announced that he had issued an executive order on Hong Kong as he predicted decline for the restless city, on which Beijing recently imposed a tough new security law.

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2020 Election

Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas

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Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.

With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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