A request from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign to hold an additional televised debate with his rival, Joe Biden, was rejected on Thursday.
The Trump campaign has argued that the first debate will only take place after some voters start receiving their ballot papers in the mail early next month, effectively preventing them from hearing the two candidates face off on politics.
The Presidential Debating Commission responded that voters were not required to vote before the first debate on September 29, even if they received the ballot earlier, effectively nullifying the debate.
The commission added in its statement that “the commission found that three debates, lasting 90 minutes, would work well to achieve the purposes of voter education that the debates aimed to meet”.
Trump, a Republican, lags Biden, a Democrat, in opinion polls held ahead of the election in November.
For his part, the presumed Democratic candidate for the US presidential elections, Joe Biden, today, Thursday, escalated his criticism of President Trump because of the latter’s increasing confusion between his official duties and his political election speeches, three months before the US presidential elections scheduled for the third of next November.
Biden said in a statement, “Today, as families across Ohio continue to struggle in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic pain it causes, Donald Trump is visiting Ohio, not to extend a helping hand to struggling families, but in an attempt to conceal his record of abuse, for his promises to the workers and to collect money for his (electoral) campaign”.
Trump visited the Midwestern state on Thursday, claiming his presidential duties.
But the president made a speech in the giant home appliances company, Whirlpool, and did not put a dividing line between his role as president and his election campaign for a second term, and made six promises to himself for the next four years.
Biden’s campaign also criticized a Trump speech in the White House Rose Garden in July that appeared to be ostensibly about China but ended up with a campaign-style speech, with multiple attacks directed against Biden.
The Democratic candidate’s campaign said that “taxpayers should be compensated for the misuse of their money in such a theatrical performance,” adding that Trump was “angry that his failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic had prevented him from participating in campaign events that he so yearned for”.
Trump lags Biden by large distances in all polls nationwide and in polls of some swing states, yet analysts have expressed caution that the race could be raging, nonetheless.
On the other hand, the White House and Congress did not reach an agreement on Thursday on a new economic support plan that would benefit millions of Americans who are unemployed or threatened with losing their jobs, while President Donald Trump confirmed that he would sign a decree in this regard.
Trump wrote on Twitter, “I directed my team to continue working on a decree on reducing the wage tax, protecting against dismissal, extending unemployment (benefits) and options for paying off student debts”.
Trump indicated that he could sign the decree on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, and for more than two weeks, the White House and members of the Senate and Representatives have been trying to agree to provide additional assistance to families and businesses affected by the crisis.
However, discussions are tense less than three months before the presidential elections.
One of the main points of difference is unemployment benefits.
Those who lost their jobs have received an additional $ 600 per week since April, but this measure ended on July 31.
For some Republicans, this generous grant does not encourage the unemployed to look for jobs, and suggest that it be reduced to $ 200.
For his part, the White House is negotiating to place it in the range of $ 400, while the Democrats want to keep it as it is.
Heidi Sherholz of the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, and a former Labor Department official during Barack Obama’s presidency, said the proposed cut “is not only drastic, but also harmful to the economy”.
She explained that those “who lost their jobs during the global pandemic are now forced to fend for their affairs with about 40 percent of their previous incomes,” and that $ 600 allow the unemployed to continue consuming, and thus maintain corporate activity, “ensuring the survival of 3.4 million jobs”.
The number of those registered in the unemployment books began to decline, as between July 26 and August 1, 19 million people were registered, according to data published Thursday by the US Department of Labor.
The number of those registered in unemployment has been declining every week since it reached a historic peak of 6.6 million people in late March.
However, it rose again in the last two weeks of July, while a large part of the country is witnessing an increase in the number of new infections with the Coronavirus.
Restaurants and stores were re-closed in several states such as California, Texas and Florida.
This caused a severe slowdown in creating new jobs in the private sector in July, as only 167,000 jobs were created compared to 2.4 million the previous month, according to a survey conducted by the corporate services company “IDP” and published on Wednesday.
Rubella Farooqi of the High Frequency Economics Center noted that these “repeated closures… remain a threat to an already fragile labor market”.
The likelihood that layoffs will turn into a permanent situation is high.
The unemployment rate for July will be released on Friday.
Analysts expect this rate to drop to 10.5 percent, from 11.1 percent in June.
Trump said on “Fox News” on Wednesday that the announcement would include “big numbers,” without explaining what was meant.
About 16 million Americans currently receive unemployment benefits that each state disposes of, and the duration and value of which are not fixed.
However, it should also be counted for those who lost their income during the crisis and are not considered unemployed, such as self-employed workers or those who face health difficulties and fear infection with Covid-19.
In all, 32 million people benefited from this assistance in mid-June.
And in the same period last year, 1.7 million Americans were receiving unemployment aid, according to data released Thursday.