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Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, joined “Your World” Tuesday to discuss the prospect of another multi-trillion-dollar coronavirus aid bill, which has been floated by members of both parties as well as President Trump.
“Let’s see how this one works. $2.3 trillion is a lot of money,” Portman told host Neil Cavuto of the aid package enacted last week, noting that more funding had been appropriated through that bill than in an entire typical congressional year.
Portman added that he expects there to be holes in the measure that need to be filled with earmarks, such as more funding for rural hospitals.
“In Ohio, we are hurting right now,” he told host Neil Cavuto. “I don’t know if there will be enough in here to cover the deep concerns that we have particularly with our rural hospitals. The revenues are down and expenses are up.”
Portman reminded Cavuto that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is among those calling for more aid bills, tried to jam unrelated expenditures into an urgent piece of legislation — but again added that more may need to be done to fight the virus’ effects on the country.
“[Pelosi’s demands were] in part a wish list, and in part things that related to stimulus that you would want to do once the health crisis behind us,” he said.
According to Portman, more measures to stimulate the economy should be looked at once the viral contagion begins abating, but the medical community currently needs Congress’ attention the most.
“People aren’t able to make things,” he said. “Consumers are not going to go to restaurants. They’re not going to go to retail establishments. We aren’t going to go back to work and school until the crisis is abated,” he said.
“That is when you work to these stimulative initiatives like the tax cuts that we did a few years ago, which were very helpful.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii told Fox News Wednesday that politicians must get beyond petty arguing and focus on real preventative solutions to fight the potential outbreak of coronavirus in the United States.
Gabbard ripped her fellow Democratic presidential candidates who took part in Tuesday’s debate in Charleston, S.C., saying that the contenders spent their time piling on each other rather than discussing “serious challenges” like the virus.
“Voters probably walked away not getting much value and feeling frustrated given the serious challenges that we’re facing right now with things like the coronavirus — something that is threatening the safety, health and well-being and lives of the American people and something that requires all of us as Americans coming together, standing together and standing together just as we would in wartime,” she said.
As of Wednesday, there are 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to the CDC. Another 45 people who have been repatriated to the U.S. from Wuhan, China and the Diamond Princess cruise ship also have the virus but are counted separately from U.S. cases. Earlier Wednesday, health officials on Long Island said 83 people in Nassau County were being monitored for the virus, but added that there were no confirmed cases of the illness in the area
Gabbard admonished President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., for arguing over funding and playing politics with the threat.
“Now is the time where Democrats and Republicans … we’ve got to stand together as Americans and put the health and well being of the American people first,” she said. “We cannot afford to be penny-wise and pound-foolish — we’ve got to come together and say what actions are necessary immediately to prevent what some people are saying is inevitable.”
“I think it’s wrong for some people to say well, it’s inevitable and this is going to come here and it’s going to take the lives of millions of Americans,” Gabbard added. “I don’t accept that.”
She criticized the preparation, or lack thereof, for a contagion, saying that in her home state, doctors cannot get the proper supplies in case patients needed to be treated for coronavirus.
“In Hawaii, they’re not able to get their hands-on testing kits. We have a shortage of masks that are not available, even to healthcare professionals that have folks come into their hospitals or ERs. We’re behind the curve. We cannot afford for this senseless partisan bickering and putting partisan politics literally ahead of the lives of the American people,” she said. “This requires leadership, it requires us standing together as Americans where when we do this, we know we can accomplish anything and it requires working with other countries.”
Hawaii has no confirmed cases of coronavirus. However, Honolulu FOX affiliate KHON reports that there are 61 people spread among the archipelago who are “self-monitoring.” Most of those are on Oahu, while other self-monitoring cases have been counted on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.
Federalist senior editor and Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway said Tuesday that President Trump‘s base will be incensed if Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on alleged FBI surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign reveals wrongdoing but recommends limited consequences.
Hemingway told “Your World” that while inspectors general do not have the same wide scope as a typical federal prosecutor, Horowitz’s past investigations have revealed misconduct but not necessarily recommended harsh punishment.
“If it follows how his other reports have gone, it will probably include a lot of really damaging information about what the FBI and other parts of the Department of Justice were doing, but it probably won’t come down very hard on the people who were doing it,” she said.
Horowitz, she said, only has the power to interview current DOJ employees and officials, and cannot expand his probe to former employees or related associates.
“If the IG comes out and says, yeah, [widespread surveillance] happened, but no big deal, I think people will be livid because they have been waiting for some kind of accountability,” Hemingway said, adding the Justice Department has “wide latitude” under the law when it comes to what actions they can take in their work.
“This inspector general has said some pretty harsh things about the behavior of FBI agents,” she added.
Horowitz previously reported on FBI actions regarding the Clinton email probe and condemned the now-infamous texts between FBI official Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page.
While Horowitz noted in his 2018 report that there is no available evidence that political considerations directly impacted investigative decisions in the Clinton probe and that Strzok was not the “sole” decision-maker on any key investigative actions, he concluded the officials’ behavior was still highly inappropriate.
“We recognize that these text and instant messages cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the Midyear [Clinton email] investigation and the investigation’s credibility,” Horowitz’s report said.
On “Your World,” Hemingway told host Neil Cavuto that Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing and more expansive probe into the origins of the Russia probe should be more “interesting.”
“[Durham] can look into more than just FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) abuse,” she said.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.
Lifestyle expert Carey Reilly joins Charles Payne on ‘CAVUTO Live’ to recommend these deals for Cyber Monday:
1. The Grip All in 1 Universal Charger
Deal: $39.99 (was $59.99)
Timing: From now until December 2
2. Fire HD10 Kid’s Edition
Deal: Save $50. Price will be $149.99 (was $199.99)
3. My Audio Pet Bluetooth speaker FOR KIDS
Deal: BOGO 50 percent off and get a free funsie with each order
4. Echo Show
Deal: $49.99 (was $89.99)
5. The August Smart Lock Pro Connect
Deal: August Smart Lock Pro Connect for $149 (save $130 from $279)
Timing: November 28 – December 2
Where: August.com and national major retailers (including Amazon, Best Buy, Lowes and Home Depot)
6. FitBit Charge 3
Deal: Through Cyber Monday, you can get $50 off the original price, coming in at $99.95 for Charge 3 and $119.95 for the special edition which has all these great features, plus Fitbit Pay.