Tuesday morning news – July 21, 2020

Lawmakers set to clash on new stimulus bill » Lawmakers have returned to Capitol Hill this week with pressure mounting to pass another economic relief bill. But the battle lines are already forming on key proposals. 

At the end of this month, those now getting jobless benefits will no longer receive an extra $600 dollars per week from the federal government. 

And many Republicans do not favor extending that federal unemployment boost. Georgia Congressman Doug Collins …

COLLINS: We have to encourage our economic activity, while at the same time being safe in this, because our extra federal unemployment has caused worker shortages in many of our businesses here in Georgia and across the country. We need to start phasing back that or do away with it all together. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said jumpstarting the economy should be the focus of the next stimulus bill. 

MCCARTHY: We need liability protection because these small businesses are questioning whether they can open again. So let’s protect those.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is urging Democrats to unite against a plan GOP leaders are drafting with the White House. 

He blasted the plan for not extending the federal unemployment increase. And he said the liability protections Republicans want would … “grant legal immunity to negligent corporations” that “fail to take reasonable steps to avoid spreading the virus.”

Schumer also reacted to reports that the White House wants to block billions of dollars in funding for the CDC that GOP senators want to include. 

SCHUMER: We are going to do everything we can to make sure the CDC is fully funded in the stimulus package. 

Republicans are drafting a bill likely in the $1 trillion dollar range. House Democrats have already passed a bill that would spend an extra $3 trillion. 

Oxford vaccine shows promising results » Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine is showing good early results. Professor Adrian Hill told reporters …

HILL: We have found that in under a thousand people the safety profile looks rather good and reassuring. And importantly we are seeing good immune responses in almost everybody. 

More tests are needed to find out if the vaccine will truly protect against COVID-19. But Hill said “What this vaccine does particularly well is trigger both arms of the immune system.”

That means it’s triggering both neutralizing antibodies … and a reaction in the body’s T-cells. That helps by destroying cells that have been taken over by the virus.

Larger trials are still underway. And another trial is slated to start soon in the United States, aiming to enroll about 30,000 people.

U.K. suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty, blocks arms sales » Britain’s government is suspending its extradition treaty and blocking arms sales to Hong Kong. That after China imposed a new so-called national security law, which strips the former British territory of key liberties. 

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Monday …

RAAB: There remains considerable uncertainty about the way in which the new national security law will be enforced. I would just say this: the United Kingdom is watching and the whole world is watching. 

As tensions grow with Beijing, Raab said he’s concerned about human rights abuses in China. He said “We will protect our vital interests. We will stand up for our values and we will hold China to its international obligations.”

The United States, Australia and Canada have already suspended extradition arrangements with Hong Kong. 

Last week, Britain backtracked on plans to give Chinese tech giant Huawei a role in the U.K.’s new high-speed mobile phone network, citing security concerns.

The U.K. has accused Beijing of a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration … under which the U.K. returned control of Hong Kong to China in 1997. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced it would open a special route to citizenship for up to 3 million eligible residents of Hong Kong.

Rioters clash with federal guards in Portland » Demonstrators in Portland clashed with federal officers on Monday, ignoring warnings.  

SOUND: This is the federal protective service. Do not attempt to damage, remove, or climb the fence around the federal courthouse. [fade under and crossfade with next bite]

Rioters tore down the fence protecting the U.S. courthouse … before setting a fire in the building’s entryway. 

SOUND: [up from 10 to 17 sec, the under and crossfade with next bite]

Federal guards extinguished the blaze and then scattered the crowd using tear gas. 

SOUND (Portland NATS-3): [up from 7.5 to 13 sec, then under to next bite]

Protests in the city have persisted every night for nearly two months, following the death of George Floyd. 

The Portland Police Bureau said its officers did not engage the protesters who set the fire. And state and local officials have blasted the federal government’s involvement. 

Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler told CNN … 

WHEELER: Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism, and it’s not helping the situation at all. They’re not wanted here. We haven’t asked them here. In fact, we want them to leave. 

And Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Friday sued the Department of Homeland Security for warrantless action in Portland. But President Trump pushed back on Monday. 

TRUMP: Portland was totally out of the control. The Democrats, liberal Democrats running the place had no idea what they were doing. They were ripping down, for 51 days, ripping down that city, looting it. 

President Trump said his administration is also looking at other big cities where he said the federal government may need to step in. 

Georgia Democrats choose nominee to replace late Rep. John Lewis » Georgia Democrats have chosen State Senator Nikema Williams as the party’s nominee to fill the seat of the late Congressman John Lewis. Williams is the chair of the state’s Democratic Party. 

Lewis died on Friday after being diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer. 

Williams will face GOP nominee Angela Stanton-King. She is a TV personality and author whom President Trump pardoned for her role in a car theft ring.

Republican Governor Brian Kemp is expected to call a special election in the coming days to fill the remainder of Lewis’ term, which expires in January.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: the record number of Republican women running for Congress.

Plus, Marvin Olasky on Christians in journalism.

This is The World and Everything in It.

President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., listen as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, July 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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