McConnell and Pelosi push for relief bill

first_imgSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.Reuters The two most powerful people in Congress — at least for the next two months — renewed their calls for coronavirus stimulus on Friday.A relief deal could prove just as difficult to reach as it did before Election Day.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., again called for a targeted aid package. In Kentucky, he argued a better than expected October jobs report that saw the U.S. unemployment rate fall to 6.9% reduces the need for a sweeping stimulus bill.- Advertisement – Areas of disagreement between the parties included state and local government aid, enhanced unemployment insurance and liability protections for businesses.Democrats will keep control of the House next Congress, though they will likely lose seats, according to NBC News. Pelosi is expected to serve as speaker for at least one more term.McConnell said earlier this week that he hopes to pass more relief money before the end of the year. How the results of the presidential election will shape President Donald Trump‘s desire to approve a bill during the lame duck session remains to be seen.Though key unresolved states are too close to call in the presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden narrowly leads Trump in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, according to NBC News. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., appeared with Pelosi on Friday and suggested a Biden presidency would give Democrats more leverage in aid talks.Economists and policymakers, including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, have warned the economic recovery could lose steam if Congress does not pass more fiscal stimulus. Policies buoying those still unemployed, including supplemental jobless benefits and a federal moratorium on evictions, expired earlier this year.Suspension of federal student loan interest will expire at the end of the year. “I think it reinforces the argument that I’ve been making for the last few months, that something smaller – rather than throwing another $3 trillion at this issue – is more appropriate,” he told reporters, according to Reuters. McConnell noted that he will not necessarily lead the Senate in January: NBC News projects both Republicans and Democrats will hold at least 48 seats, with four races unsettled.Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for Republicans to restart aid talks that fell apart before the 2020 election. She told reporters that the “imperative to act could not be greater” after the U.S. posted a record of more than 120,000 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday.Still, she said a narrow bill “doesn’t appeal to me at all.” The chambers of Congress failed to find common ground on relief before the election, as Senate Republicans tried to pass a $500 billion aid bill and House Democrats approved a $2.2 trillion package.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Fantasy Sports Sites Face Suits

first_imgNEW YORK — Customers of the two biggest daily fantasy sports websites have filed at least four lawsuits against the sites in recent days, following cheating allegations and a probe into the largely-unregulated multi-billion dollar industry.In court papers, the customers accused the DraftKings and FanDuel sites of cheating, and argued they never would have played had they known employees with insider knowledge were playing on rival sites.The four lawsuits, which seek class-action status, were filed in federal courts in New York, Illinois and Louisiana since last week, after it was revealed that a mid-level DraftKings employee won $350,000 playing NFL fantasy football on rival FanDuel, beating nearly 230,000 other players after game data not accessible to the public was inadvertently posted online.The companies have since barred their employees from playing on other websites and have said they’ll be conducting internal investigations. DraftKings said last week it has retained John Pappalardo, a former U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, to conduct its internal probe. And FanDuel has asked Michael Mukasey, the former attorney general, to review its internal controls. In a joint statement, the companies said evidence so far shows no employee violated industry rules.But New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently asked both FanDuel and DraftKings to turn over information about those investigations into employees who “may have gained an unfair, financial advantage in a contest known as Daily Fantasy Football.” And on Oct. 15, Nevada regulators ordered the sites shut down in that state.A FanDuel spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuits. A DraftKings spokesman pointed to the company’s earlier statements on the cheating allegations.Daily fantasy sports have become increasingly popular, with DraftKings and FanDuel blanketing the Internet and TV ahead of the 2015 NFL season with ads promising casual fans the opportunity to win big money playing in tournaments against other sports buffs who meticulously track player statistics.The companies say their business isn’t gambling because it requires skill to assemble a potentially lucrative fantasy team. But former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach, who authored 2006 anti-Internet gambling legislation, told The Associated Press this week “there is no credible way fantasy sports betting can be described as not gambling.”That’s a position Aissa Khirani takes in a lawsuit filed in New York on Oct.15, arguing FanDuel’s operations create gambling-like casino odds and violate state law. The lawsuit seeks unspecified restitution.In another case filed Oct. 8, attorneys for daily fantasy sports players in Kentucky, California, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Florida argue their clients — who paid between $25 and $100 to enter in fantasy sports tournaments — couldn’t possibly compete solely on skill given the access employees have to special information.“The biggest edges any player can have come from having data and information,” the lawsuit claims. “DraftKings and FanDuel employees have access to both things, neither of which is public.”Last year, 1.5 million Americans paid more than $1 billion in entry fees, according to the Sports Business Journal, which found 1.3 percent of players won about 90 percent of profits during the first half of the 2015 Major League Baseball season.Thomas Guarino, of East Alton, Illinois, claims in his similarly worded class action lawsuit against DraftKings and FanDuel that the companies were deceptive by claiming the contests were based on skill, not chance, saying he lost money he would never otherwise have spent.DraftKings and FanDuel were negligent by failing to tell consumers their employees had access to important information others couldn’t have access to in order to “obtain an enormous increased chance to win, thereby greatly decreasing (Guarino’s) and the classes’ ability to use skill to win,” the lawsuit claims.(JAKE PEARSON)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more