McConnell says stimulus Senate’s top priority before year end

first_img“I think that’s job one when we get back,” McConnell said. “Hopefully we get a more cooperative situation than we’ve had.”Although Republicans appeared set to retain their majority in the Senate as of Wednesday afternoon, McConnell struck a cautious outlook and cited tight contests in key battleground states.- Advertisement – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), gestures while giving election remarks at the Omni Louisville Hotel on November 4, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.Jon Cherry | Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday said his top priority remains passing a new economic stimulus bill before the end of the year.McConnell, who Tuesday evening won his reelection bid for a seventh six-year Senate term, said from a news conference in Kentucky that another relief package would be the chamber’s chief focus when it reconvenes next week.He also said that state and local aid, a consistent Democratic demand in relief discussions with the White House, could be included in a new bill.- Advertisement – Democrats did win the Senate race in Colorado, and are leading in Arizona, but as of 1:55 p.m. ET they appear to be set to fall short of becoming the majority. NBC News projects Democrats will keep control of the House of Representatives.Maine Democrat Sara Gideon’s concession to incumbent Sen. Susan Collins makes flipping the chamber even more difficult, though NBC News has yet to make an official call on that race.Still, McConnell’s comments could rekindle relief talks between the two parties after months of stalled negotiations between Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.The mired talks come even as the U.S. recorded another 91,500 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, the second-highest single-day tally to date, according to Johns Hopkins data. The disease has now killed more than 230,000 Americans.Up until the weeks immediately preceding the election, McConnell had warned that a potential $2 trillion package negotiated between Mnuchin and Pelosi may lack sufficient support in the Senate out of fears it could be too expensive.“The Speaker laid out a $2.5 trillion package with all kinds of things that I felt were simply unrelated to the subject,” the majority leader said Wednesday. “I laid on the Senate floor not once, but twice, half a trillion dollars …  targeting the school situation, the need to replenish PPP small loan program.”McConnell tried early in 2020 to advance his own, far-smaller bill that lacked fiscal support for state and local governments as well as omitted another round of $1,200 direct payment checks to most Americans.That effort was blocked by Senate Democrats — who argued that it lacked enough relief — and by some Republicans that said even the watered-down bill was too costly. Congress has not enacted any new major stimulus since the spring when lawmakers muscled through four bipartisan bills worth about $3 trillion.“Ultimately, you’ve got to kill the [virus] before we get back to normal. Because there’s no other way to get back to normal. You can keep keep pumping money into the economy forever And it won’t solve the problem until we kill the virus,” McConnell said.“Having said that, there are other sectors that need help and I outlined what I think is appropriate, but I don’t get to make the final decision. We have to deal with the Democrats,” he added. “And what I’m saying is, I think now that the election’s over, the need is there and need to sit down and work this out.” – Advertisement – “As I’ve said repeatedly in the last few months, we need another rescue package,” McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday morning. “Hopefully, the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election. And I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

Equinor Gets NPD Nod to Extend Åsgard A Production

first_imgEquinor has received an approval from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate for extended technical lifetime for the Åsgard A facility in the Norwegian Sea until 2027.It will extend the production twelve years longer than the original plan.Åsgard A plays a particularly important role in recovering as much as possible of the remaining liquid reserves in Smørbukk and Smørbukk Sør, as most of the gas injection wells on these fields are tied in to Åsgard A and will rely on the gas injection from Åsgard A through the 2020s.The licenses are also considering new drilling targets and wells linked to Åsgard A both in the shorter and longer term, and they will be important measures to promote improved recovery.Additional measures to improve recovery are also being planned. A project involving ‘low wellhead pressure’ is important, and has an expected start-up date in 2022, NPD said.Recovery of Trestakk as well as the ‘Blåbjørn’ discovery depends on an extended lifetime for Åsgard A.The technical lifetime for the Åsgard A facility was originally based on 20 years of operation, and expires in 2019.last_img read more

Schmidt: Injury won’t worry Ireland

first_img Munster duo Keith Earls and Donnacha Ryan enhanced their World Cup prospects with fine showings as both ended 29 months without Test rugby in a comfortable victory over Wales in Cardiff. Ireland start their Pool D World Cup campaign against Canada in Cardiff on September 19 and with Schmidt’s first serious squad cull on the cards, that tie inches ever more into overall consciousness. “I don’t think they’re ever completely out of the picture, because there can be injuries and there can be illnesses,” said Schmidt. “Selection gets harder and harder if guys keep putting their hands up, and that’s part of the selection conundrum that does make it a headache, but it’s the headache we want to be honest. “We don’t want something to be clear and obvious because someone hasn’t performed: we want to make decisions because two or three players have competed for the same spot.” Ireland’s stars will not be “spooked” by the hip injury that threatens to end Tommy O’Donnell’s World Cup chances, according to Joe Schmidt. Munster flanker O’Donnell required oxygen on the Millennium Stadium field after suffering a nasty blow in the closing stages of Ireland’s 35-21 World Cup warm-up win over Wales. The 28-year-old should learn his fate in the next few days, but his chances of finding fitness in time for the World Cup could be slim. Head coach Schmidt has not given up hope on O’Donnell, and insisted Ireland’s players will not fear injury across a month of warm-up clashes. “I don’t think any player gets distracted or spooked by injuries,” said Schmidt. “They know, they’ve been playing the game long enough. “I think if you’re spooked or distracted by something, then you’re more at risk, so I think they’ll just forge ahead.” Schmidt will cut his squad this week as the August 31 deadline to name his final World Cup 31 edges ever closer. Ireland face Scotland in Dublin on Saturday, by which time their training squad could be as many as seven men lighter. Ireland’s Kiwi boss anticipates several difficult conversations this week – but vowed that anyone omitted at this stage would not be completely in the cold. While it would be unlikely for anyone leaving the Ireland squad in the week to force their way back into the final World Cup squad, Schmidt is adamant that remains plausible. Press Associationlast_img read more