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Privacy Statement

Last Updated June 2019

Thank you for your interest in Cox Media Group, LLC, along with our affiliates (collectively, “CMG Network”).  We respect your privacy when you use our websites, mobile and other online applications and products and services operated by CMG Network (collectively, the “CMG Network Sites”).              

This Privacy Statement describes the types of personal information we collect, how we may use the information and with whom we may share it.  In addition, it describes the measures we take to safeguard your personal information, how you can access or change the information we maintain about you, and how you may withdraw consent you previously provided to us or ask us to refrain from sending you certain communications. 

By using CMG Network Sites, you consent to the use of information about you in accordance with this Privacy Statement, including our communications using the email address provided by you through one or more of the CMG Network Sites.  This Privacy Statement applies to CMG Network Sites and does not apply to any CMG affiliate that maintains a separate privacy statement.  Unless otherwise noted in communications you may receive from us, this Privacy Statement does not apply to information you may provide to us through offline methods, for example, at live event premises or via telephone. 

Updates to This Privacy Statement

We may update this Privacy Statement to provide clarification or reflect changes to our practices without prior notice to you. If we make changes, we will revise the “Last Updated” date at the top of this Privacy Statement. You are responsible for periodically visiting the CMG Network Sites and reviewing this Privacy Statement to check for any changes.

Children Under Thirteen

CMG Network Sites are not intended for or directed to children under the age of 13. No one under the age of 13 may provide any information on any CMG Network Site. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If you are under 13, do not provide any personal information to us. 

This Privacy Statement contains:

1.         Information We Collect About You and How We Collect It

2.         How We May Use the Information We Collect

3.         Information We Share

4.         Your Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information

5.         Access and Corrections

6.         Links and Other Third Party Services [Link]

7.         How We Protect Personal Information

8.         Safeguarding Your Account

9.         Your California Privacy Rights

10.      How to Contact Us

 

1.         Information We Collect About You and How We Collect It

The information we collect about you falls into one of three categories: (1) information you provide to us, (2) information collected automatically when you navigate through the CMG Network Sites, and (3) information provided to us by third parties such as advertisers, sponsors and other business partners.

Information You Provide to Us

We may collect information that you choose to provide on the CMG Network Sites in a variety of ways, such as when you:

·       register for one of our products or services.  This information may include your name, email address, gender, age, zip code or payment card information;

·       create an account for access.  For example, we may collect your user name, password and other credentials for accessing one or more of the CMG Network Sites;

·       purchase products or services on the CMG Network Sites.  This information may include your name, address, telephone and email, and your billing information such as your credit card number and its expiration date.  We may also collect additional information such as your login name and password, your date of birth and other identifying information;

·       express your interests and/or preferences.  For example, we might request information on your interest in sports, personal finance, the performing arts, etc.;

·       participate in chats, web forums or other interactive sessions;

·       provide payment card information for one of our products or services;

·       subscribe to our newsletters or provide feedback; and

·       participate in surveys, sweepstakes or other promotions.

 

You may also provide information to be published or displayed (hereinafter, “posted”) on designated areas of the CMG Network Sites such as message boards, discussion or comment areas, or transmitted to other users of the CMG Network Sites or third parties (collectively, “User Contributions”).  Please be aware that we cannot control the actions of other users of the CMG Network Sites, and we cannot and do not guarantee that your User Contributions will not be viewed or exploited by unauthorized persons.

 

Information Automatically Collected

 

As you navigate through and interact with the CMG Network Sites, we may use automatic data collection technologies to collect certain information such as information about your equipment, browsing actions, and usage patterns, including: 

 

·       Information about your computer and internet connection, including the device type, device make/model, browser type, operating system, the resolution of your device monitor, your ISP or mobile carrier, your device identifiers, your IP address and related information.  Such information may include physical location information that is sufficiently precise to allow us to locate a specific person or device (“Location Information”).  If you do not want us to use Location Information, you can opt out by changing the location services settings on your mobile device. 

 

·       Information on your visits to the CMG Network Sites, including date and time of your access to the CMG Network Sites, pages you visited, and if you linked from or to another website, the address of that website, emails you open and links you follow within such emails, and other communication data and the resources you access and use on the CMG Network Sites.

 

We use various technologies for automated collection of data such as cookies, local shared objects/flash cookies, and web beacons (generally referred to as “Data Technologies”).  Data Technologies include all current and similar future technologies.

 

Cookies – A cookie is a small file placed on your device for the purposes of identifying your browser or storing information or settings in your browser.  You may refuse to accept browser cookies by activating the appropriate setting on your browser. However, if you select this setting you may be unable to access certain features of the CMG Network Sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies when you direct your browser to access the CMG Network Sites.

 

Local Shared Objects/Flash Cookies – Local shared objects, sometimes known as Flash cookies, may be used to store your preferences or display content based upon what you have viewed on various websites to personalize your visit.  Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies. For information about managing your privacy and security settings for Flash cookies, see Your Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information.

 

Web Beacons – A web beacon, also known as a single pixel GIF, pixel tag or clear GIF, links web pages to web servers and their cookies and allows us to obtain information on the number of users who visited those pages and other traffic related statistics.

 

Advertising Networks

We may partner with third-party service providers, such as ad networks, to serve advertising to you based on predictions generated over time from your visits across different websites, devices, and mobile applications (“online behavioral” or “interest-based” advertising).

Third-party service providers may utilize information collected through a variety of Data Technologies to provide customization, auditing, research and reporting for us, our affiliates and other advertisers. This data collection takes place both on the CMG Network Sites and on third-party websites and mobile applications.

We do not provide information directly associated with a specific person, such as name and address, to an advertising network when you interact with or view a customized advertisement.  However, when you view or interact with an advertisement, the advertiser may make an assumption that you are interested in the subject matter of the advertisement.

Some companies disclose when they are using interest-based advertising programs on the CMG Network Sites to deliver third-party ads or collecting information about your visit for these purposes and give you the ability to opt-out of this use of your information. For more information, see Your Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information. 

 

Information Obtained Through Third Parties

 

Some content or applications, including advertisements, on the CMG Network Sites are served by third parties, including advertisers, ad networks and servers, content providers, and other providers.  We also use analytics tools to help analyze how users use the CMG Network Sites.   

 

These third parties may use their Data Technologies to collect information about you when you use the CMG Network Sites. The information they collect may be associated with your personal information, or they may collect information, including personal information, about your online activities over time and across different websites and other online services. They may use this information to provide you interest-based advertising or other targeted content. We do not control these third parties’ tracking technologies or how they may be used.

 

When you use the social networking features on the CMG Network Sites, you may be asked to log in to a social network using your social network credentials such as your Facebook user ID. When you log in, we may collect information about you, including personal information, from that social network. In addition, when you use one of the social network sharing tools available on the CMG Network Sites, the social network operating the tool may collect information about you based on such use.

 

2.         How We May Use the Information We Collect

 

We may use information we collect, including personal information, for the following purposes:

 

·       to present the CMG Network Sites and deliver content, including advertising related to your interests, browsing and usage history, Location Information and other information we collected within the CMG Network Sites and from other websites and sources;

·       to fulfill purposes for which you provided the information, including management of your user account, provision of products and services you request, processing and collection of payments, and support;

·       to contact you regarding your purchase;

·       to offer our products or services and/or the products or services of others to you;

·       to provide you with notices about your account and/or subscriptions, including expiration and renewal notices;

·       to notify you about changes to the CMG Network Sites or any products or services we offer;

·       to communicate about, and administer your participation in, special events, programs, surveys, contests, sweepstakes and other offers or promotions;

·       to enable you to interact with us and others through various means, such as through our message boards or discussion or comment areas;

·       to evaluate and improve our business, including developing new products and services and analyzing the effectiveness of products, services, applications and communications;

·       to diagnose and address technical and service problems;

·       to perform data analyses, including market and consumer research, trend analysis, demographic analysis and financial analysis;

·       to comply with applicable legal requirements and our policies;

·       to contact you via telephone, text or chat. We will obtain your consent to contact you when and in the manner required by law; and

·       for any other purposes with your consent.

 

We may combine information that you provide to us with information we receive from other sources, as well as with other information that is automatically collected.

 

Network Advertising 

 

Network advertising allows the CMG Network and third parties to deliver targeted advertising, enhance marketing programs and help track the effectiveness of such efforts. Our advertising networks also may use this information for determining or predicting the characteristics and preferences of their respective advertising audiences and measuring the effectiveness of their advertising in accordance with their privacy policies.

 

3.         Information We Share

 

We may disclose aggregated information about our visitors and information provided that does not identify any individual.  We may sell or otherwise share information about you that we collect or receive, for example, as described below:

 

·       to our affiliates who will use the information in accordance with their privacy policies;

·       to our contractors, service providers, and other third parties we use to support our business who will use the information in accordance with their privacy policies;

·       to co-sponsor(s) of surveys, contests, sweepstakes or other promotions, as identified in the applicable official rules, if you enter such promotions; 

·       to fulfill the purpose for which you provide it.  For example, if you give us an email address to use the “email a friend” feature of the CMG Network Sites, we will transmit the contents of that email and your email address to the recipients;

·       to an acquirer or other successor in the event of a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy or similar proceedings, in which personal information held by us is among the assets transferred;

·       to advertisers and other third parties who market their products or services to you with your permission;

·       for any other purposes disclosed by us when you provide the information; or

·       with your consent.

 

We may also disclose your information:

 

·       To comply with any court order, law, or legal process, including to respond to any government or regulatory request.

·       To enforce or apply our Visitor Agreement [Link] and other agreements, including for billing and collection purposes.

·       If we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property, or safety of the CMG Network, our customers, or others, including exchanging information with other companies and organizations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

4.         Your Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information 

We strive to provide you with choices about how we communicate with you.  Mechanisms below will provide you with controls over your information.

Registration and SMS Alerts

You may choose not to provide personal information, even though that might impact your ability to register or receive a particular product or service.  If you register with us, you also have the option of deleting all information except for your email address. If you would like to completely deactivate your account, please contact us at privacy@coxinc.com. Please note, however, that if you deactivate your account, you will not receive any newsletters from us, and you will not be able to participate in any of our contests, sweepstakes, or other promotions.  Also, even if you deactivate your account, you still need to go through a separate process to unsubscribe from SMS alerts you previously signed up to receive. You can unsubscribe from these alerts by using the “STOP” function within those messages. You agree that, subject to applicable law, we may use your information to contact you for customer service, to inform you of important changes to our products or services, and to send you administrative notices or any communications relevant to your use of the CMG Network Sites, including communications in the event of a data security event.

Newsletters and Other Email Communications

If you decide to unsubscribe from our email newsletters to which you had previously subscribed, or if you do not want to receive marketing emails from us, you can follow the unsubscribe link provided in those emails.

Data Technologies

You have a number of choices regarding certain Data Technologies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser's setting to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. You may also render some web beacons unusable by rejecting their associated cookies and disable or delete similar data used by browser add-ons by changing the add-ons’ settings or opting out at the website of the technology provider.  For example, to manage your Flash cookie settings, you may visit the Flash player settings page on the Adobe website and follow their instructions.

If you disable certain Data Technologies or opt out from location services, however, certain features of the CMG Network Sites may not function properly or at all as a result.

Third Party Communications

If you have submitted your information on a page provided in conjunction with one of our service providers, the information you submit may be jointly maintained by us and the service provider. If you decide to change your preference or opt out from communications, you may also need to contact the service provider separately to request your information be removed from its database.  Please visit the applicable third party’s privacy policy for their data collection practices and choices they make available to you. The privacy policies of the third parties control the collection, use and disclosure of all personal information transmitted to them.

Internet-based Advertisements

We do not control third parties' collection or use of your information to serve interest-based advertising. However, you can opt out of delivery of targeted advertising to you by multiple companies by visiting www.aboutads.info/choices, www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp and www.evidon.com. Please note that even if you opt out, you will continue to receive advertisements, but they will not be tailored to your specific interests.  To learn more about your choices when it comes to the use of online behavioral advertising data by advertisers and ad servers across the Internet, visit aboutads.info.

5.         Access and Corrections

Access to information that we collect and maintain about you may be available to you. For example, if you registered for a password-protected account within the CMG Network Sites, you can access that account to update the information you previously provided.

If you delete your User Contributions from the CMG Network Sites, copies of your User Contributions may remain viewable in cached and archived pages or might have been copied or stored by other users.  Proper access and use of information provided on the CMG Network Sites, including User Contributions, is governed by our Visitor Agreement.

6.         Links and Other Third Party Services

The CMG Network Sites may contain links to websites and other resources not operated by us.   We are not responsible for the content or use of any websites or resources other than those on the CMG Network Sites.  Providers of these websites and other resources may have their own privacy policies or notices, which we strongly suggest you review.

We may include applications or widgets from social media providers that allow interaction or content sharing by their users. These widgets, such as a Facebook “Share” or “Like” button, are visible to you on the web page you visit.  Integration between the CMG Network Sites and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and others may allow social media networks in which you participate to collect information about you, even when you do not explicitly activate their application or widget. Please visit the applicable social media network’s privacy policy for their data collection practices and choices they make available to you. The privacy policies of the respective social media networks control the collection, use and disclosure of all personal information transmitted to them.

7.         How We Protect Personal Information

We use commercially reasonable administrative, technical, personnel, and physical security measures designed to safeguard information about you in our possession against loss, theft and unauthorized use, disclosure or modification. For example, transmission of any payment transactions where you provide sensitive financial data such as credit card information will be encrypted.  Of course, despite these measures, we cannot guarantee perfect security of networks, servers and databases we operate or that are operated on our behalf.

8.         Safeguarding Your Account

The safety and security of your information also depends on you. Where we have given you, or where you have chosen, a password for access to certain parts of the CMG Network Sites, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone.  You are responsible for the use of your account. 

9.         Your California Privacy Rights

California Civil Code Section 1798.83 entitles California users to request information concerning whether a business has disclosed certain information about you to any third parties for the third parties' direct marketing purposes. California users who wish to request further information in compliance with this law or have questions or concerns about our privacy practices and policies may contact us as specified in the "How to Contact Us" section below.

Online Tracking Policy for California Residents: As of the effective date of this Privacy Statement, there is no commonly accepted response for Do Not Track signals initiated by browsers; therefore, we do not respond to them.

10.       How to Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Statement, or if you would like us to update information we have about you or your preferences, please contact us by email at privacy@cmg.com.

 

  • After talking for days about relaxing federal calls for Americans to drastically restrict their social activities in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would be extending those guidelines through the end of April, after new estimates showed the threat of a huge number of deaths from the virus outbreak. 'The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,' the President told reporters gathered in the Rose Garden. 'Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.' 'We will be extending our guidelines to April 30, to slow the spread,' Mr. Trump said, urging Americans to help by limiting their social activities.  'The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,' the President added. The President said the decision was made after new modeling made available to the White House estimated the death totals from the Coronavirus could run over 1 million unless strong mitigation efforts were taken by Americans. At the White House, top federal experts endorsed the President's course change. 'We feel that the mitigation we are doing right now is having an effect 'The decision to prolong - not prolong, but extend - this mitigation process until the end of April, I think was a wise and prudent decision,' said Dr. Anthony Fauci. White House Coronavirus expert Dr. Deborah Birx said the 'growing number of potential fatalities' shown by the models made clear the need for more action to hold down the spread of the virus. Birx told reporters it is 'not a simple situation when you ask people to stay home for another 30 days, so they have to know that we really built this on scientific evidence and the potential to save hundreds of thousands of American lives.' “To every metro area out there, we have to do better,' Dr. Birx said at the Sunday briefing.
  • The mayors of OKlahoma's two largest cities have announced they will expand and more closely enforce “stay at home” measures for the general public as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum enacted a 'Shelter in Place' order on Saturday for all age groups in the city to last from March 28 to April 16.  The 'Safer at Home' order mirrors the executive order made by Governor Stitt on Tuesday.   Mayor Bynum's order was announced hours after 7 more COVID-19 deaths were reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
  • With some public friction over the federal Coronavirus response, President Donald Trump on Friday again singled out the Governor of Michigan and the Governor of Washington State for criticism, telling reporters that he had discouraged Vice President Mike Pence from calling either one to discuss the virus response. 'When they're not appreciative to me, they're not appreciative to the Army Corps (of Engineers), they're not appreciative to FEMA. It's not right,' President Trump said at a Friday White House briefing. 'All I want them to do, very simple, I want them to be appreciative,' the President added. 'We've done a great job,' the President said. 'I think the media and governors should appreciate it.' The President's comments came as he continued to spar long distance with Gov. Jay Inslee (D) of Washington State, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) of Michigan. Inslee has already been a frequent target of the President - who referred to him in one briefing as a 'snake' - acknowledging that he has urged Vice President Pence not to call the Washington Democrat. 'I say Mike, don't call the Governor of Washington, you're wasting your time with him,' Mr. Trump said. 'Don't call the woman in Michigan.' In an interview Thursday night with Sean Hannity on Fox News, the President took aim at Whitmer, who has complained of troubles in getting medical supplies for hospitals to combat the virus outbreak. 'We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor, you know who I’m talking about from Michigan,' the President said. While Gov. Whitmer went on TV to respond to the President, Inslee used Mr. Trump's favored mode of social media. 'I’m not going to let personal attacks from the president distract me from what matters: beating this virus and keeping Washingtonians healthy,' Inslee tweeted. While Inslee avoided barbs from the White House on Friday night, Whitmer did not. “Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her ahead, she doesn’t have a clue,” the President tweeted. Michigan has become a flash point in recent days in the fight to stop the Coronavirus; 32 deaths were announced on Friday, almost as many as the two previous days combined. 28 deaths were announced on Friday in Washington State, raising the death toll there to 175 people, second most of any state.
  • It was a scary day on Friday for Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin, who sent a message on Twitter that his son Jim took a bad fall while playing with his brothers at the family's ranch and hit his head. “He was unconscious and his vitals were very weak.  They had to life-flight him to Tulsa,” Mullin said in a video clip that he posted to Twitter as he was on his way back to Tulsa from Washington D.C. Since he first got word about the accident from his wife, he says his son has improved and was due released soon, Mullin citing the need to free up beds at the hospital for the Covid-19 crisis. He also voiced his appreciation for the prayers that were sent to him by friends and supporters.
  • With the backing of the White House and leaders in both parties, the U.S. House on Friday approved an emergency economic rescue plan to help the economy deal with the negative impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, as lawmakers on both sides put aside their differences on the details of the over $2 trillion package.  President Trump signed it into law several hours later. 'We need to support this bill now,' said Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL). 'The coronavirus has been a nuclear bomb to our economy,' said Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH). 'We've never faced a public health crisis of this magnitude,' said Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX). The main theater in the House Chamber during debate was not about who was for or against the bill, but whether Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY) would follow through on his threat to force a recorded vote on the measure, amid questions about whether enough lawmakers were present for a quorum. Under the rules, Massie - who did not speak during the debate - needed the support of several dozen lawmakers to force a vote. But Massie did not get that backing, and the bill was approved on a voice vote, to the applause of lawmakers, who sat both on the House floor, and in the galleries above. In debate, lawmakers of both parties expressed concerns about how their local hospitals might not be able to deal with an outbreak of the virus. 'For those from rural districts like mine, our hospitals cannot handle the onslaught of patients,' said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL). 'Hospitals in my district face a situation as dire as it has been in my 18 years in Congress.' Lawmakers who flew back to Washington for the debate said the impact on the airline industry was obvious. 'There were two members of Congress on the plane out of a total of four passengers,' said Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), who flew from St. Louis.  'You don't think that industry is on the brink of collapse - use it right now, and you will see,' Davis added. The House vote came as a third member of the House announced that he had tested positive, Rep. Joe Cunningham, a freshman Democrat from South Carolina. The package includes direct checks to Americans, billions in emergency aid for businesses big and small, money for state and local governments, and help for hospitals fighting the Coronavirus. “This is the biggest economic and health crisis the country has ever faced,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

Washington Insider

  • After talking for days about relaxing federal calls for Americans to drastically restrict their social activities in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would be extending those guidelines through the end of April, after new estimates showed the threat of a huge number of deaths from the virus outbreak. 'The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,' the President told reporters gathered in the Rose Garden. 'Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.' 'We will be extending our guidelines to April 30, to slow the spread,' Mr. Trump said, urging Americans to help by limiting their social activities.  'The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,' the President added. The President said the decision was made after new modeling made available to the White House estimated the death totals from the Coronavirus could run over 1 million unless strong mitigation efforts were taken by Americans. At the White House, top federal experts endorsed the President's course change. 'We feel that the mitigation we are doing right now is having an effect 'The decision to prolong - not prolong, but extend - this mitigation process until the end of April, I think was a wise and prudent decision,' said Dr. Anthony Fauci. White House Coronavirus expert Dr. Deborah Birx said the 'growing number of potential fatalities' shown by the models made clear the need for more action to hold down the spread of the virus. Birx told reporters it is 'not a simple situation when you ask people to stay home for another 30 days, so they have to know that we really built this on scientific evidence and the potential to save hundreds of thousands of American lives.' “To every metro area out there, we have to do better,' Dr. Birx said at the Sunday briefing.
  • With some public friction over the federal Coronavirus response, President Donald Trump on Friday again singled out the Governor of Michigan and the Governor of Washington State for criticism, telling reporters that he had discouraged Vice President Mike Pence from calling either one to discuss the virus response. 'When they're not appreciative to me, they're not appreciative to the Army Corps (of Engineers), they're not appreciative to FEMA. It's not right,' President Trump said at a Friday White House briefing. 'All I want them to do, very simple, I want them to be appreciative,' the President added. 'We've done a great job,' the President said. 'I think the media and governors should appreciate it.' The President's comments came as he continued to spar long distance with Gov. Jay Inslee (D) of Washington State, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) of Michigan. Inslee has already been a frequent target of the President - who referred to him in one briefing as a 'snake' - acknowledging that he has urged Vice President Pence not to call the Washington Democrat. 'I say Mike, don't call the Governor of Washington, you're wasting your time with him,' Mr. Trump said. 'Don't call the woman in Michigan.' In an interview Thursday night with Sean Hannity on Fox News, the President took aim at Whitmer, who has complained of troubles in getting medical supplies for hospitals to combat the virus outbreak. 'We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor, you know who I’m talking about from Michigan,' the President said. While Gov. Whitmer went on TV to respond to the President, Inslee used Mr. Trump's favored mode of social media. 'I’m not going to let personal attacks from the president distract me from what matters: beating this virus and keeping Washingtonians healthy,' Inslee tweeted. While Inslee avoided barbs from the White House on Friday night, Whitmer did not. “Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her ahead, she doesn’t have a clue,” the President tweeted. Michigan has become a flash point in recent days in the fight to stop the Coronavirus; 32 deaths were announced on Friday, almost as many as the two previous days combined. 28 deaths were announced on Friday in Washington State, raising the death toll there to 175 people, second most of any state.
  • With the backing of the White House and leaders in both parties, the U.S. House on Friday approved an emergency economic rescue plan to help the economy deal with the negative impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, as lawmakers on both sides put aside their differences on the details of the over $2 trillion package.  President Trump signed it into law several hours later. 'We need to support this bill now,' said Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL). 'The coronavirus has been a nuclear bomb to our economy,' said Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH). 'We've never faced a public health crisis of this magnitude,' said Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX). The main theater in the House Chamber during debate was not about who was for or against the bill, but whether Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY) would follow through on his threat to force a recorded vote on the measure, amid questions about whether enough lawmakers were present for a quorum. Under the rules, Massie - who did not speak during the debate - needed the support of several dozen lawmakers to force a vote. But Massie did not get that backing, and the bill was approved on a voice vote, to the applause of lawmakers, who sat both on the House floor, and in the galleries above. In debate, lawmakers of both parties expressed concerns about how their local hospitals might not be able to deal with an outbreak of the virus. 'For those from rural districts like mine, our hospitals cannot handle the onslaught of patients,' said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL). 'Hospitals in my district face a situation as dire as it has been in my 18 years in Congress.' Lawmakers who flew back to Washington for the debate said the impact on the airline industry was obvious. 'There were two members of Congress on the plane out of a total of four passengers,' said Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), who flew from St. Louis.  'You don't think that industry is on the brink of collapse - use it right now, and you will see,' Davis added. The House vote came as a third member of the House announced that he had tested positive, Rep. Joe Cunningham, a freshman Democrat from South Carolina. The package includes direct checks to Americans, billions in emergency aid for businesses big and small, money for state and local governments, and help for hospitals fighting the Coronavirus. “This is the biggest economic and health crisis the country has ever faced,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
  • As Congress pushes ahead with a landmark economic stimulus plan to offset the negative impact of the Coronavirus, lawmakers not only put in provisions to funnel money to Americans and help businesses stay afloat, but also structured oversight for the billions in loans going to big businesses, and helped out a few specific players along the way. First, if you want to read through the text of the bill as approved by the Senate on Wednesday night, you can find the 880 page bill here. For those who want the short version, the table of contents for the bill gives you a good preview of what's to come. Now let's jump in and find a few interesting items in the bill. + 1. Restrictions aimed squarely at President Trump and his family. Section 4019 of the bill is titled, 'Conflicts of Interest,' and is intended to prohibit top government officials from benefiting in any way from the emergency aid being delivered in this bill. It lists the President, Vice President, member of Congress, top Executive Branch officials as people covered by this prohibition. But it goes further - adding, 'spouse, child, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law' as well. One GOP Senator pointed out the 'son-in-law' provision. 'I wonder who that could be targeted towards,' said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) in a mocking tone, referring to Jared Kushner, as Lankford said Democrats were wrong to pursue such provisions. 'A lot of this fight that we've had over the last three days is because they were demanding that there was no way the President, or any member of his family could get any benefit from this loan program at all,' Lankford said. Democrats won those provisions. + 2. Temporary tax break for makers of hand sanitizer. With various alcohol producers switching over some of their production in recent weeks to make hand sanitizer, this bill also provides a temporary exception to the excise tax on the alcohol used to make hand sanitizer products. To an outsider, it shouldn't be any big deal for a liquor producer to shift into production of hand sanitizer, but in reality - it can have pretty big tax implications in how the federal government deals with the process. For example, after a company makes over 100,000 gallons of alcohol, the tax goes from $2.70 per gallon to over $13 per gallon. This provision on page 212 would allow those hand sanitizer products to be made without being hit by those higher taxes. Here was the social media appeal from one company in Maryland. 3. Special oversight for economic recovery spending. As part of provisions providing public insight into what companies get what kind of aid from the federal government, this bill sets up a special Inspector General inside the Treasury Department dealing with the 'Pandemic Recovery.' The internal watchdog would be charged with 'audits and investigations of the making, purchase, management, and sale of loans, loan guarantees, and other investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury under any program established by the Secretary under this Act.' There is also a new 'Congressional Oversight Commission,' with members appointed by various parts of the government, to oversee the operations of this economic recovery effort - all to guide against favoritism, and any questionable financial awards - much like there was with the Obama stimulus in 2009. 4. Postal Service gets special loan help. Just like after the anthrax attacks following Nine Eleven, the U.S. Postal Service finds itself in a crunch with the Coronavirus. Not only are some employees getting sick, but mail volume is going down - and that's leading to an even bleaker financial outlook. The Coronavirus rescue bill does not give a blank check to the Postal Service, but instead allows it to borrow up to $10 billion from the U.S. Treasury. Page 607 of the bill specifically says the money can only be used to pay for operating expenses - and not any outstanding debt of the Postal Service. The bill also orders the Postal Service to prioritize the delivery of medical products related to the Coronavirus, and also gives the Postal Service the right to establish 'temporary delivery points' during the outbreak, in order to shield employees from the virus. 5. Miscellaneous Provisions. Any reporter who has gone through Congressional spending bills starts to get a little excited when you get to the section labeled 'Miscellaneous Provisions' - and this bill does not disappoint. Starting on page 609, there is a laundry list of extra money sent to various government agencies to deal with the Coronavirus. Some, like money for food safety won't raise any eyebrows. But others were quickly getting the thumbs down from some GOP lawmakers who actually read their way through the details of the bill. 6. There is no Congressional Pay Raise. Let me say it again. There is no pay raise for members of the House and Senate, no matter what you read on Twitter or Facebook. The troublemakers on Twitter didn't take long in spreading fake news about the details of this bill, accusing lawmakers of voting themselves a pay raise. Let me be very clear - that did *not* happen in this bill. There is no reference to the underlying federal code which governs the pay of lawmakers (section 601(a) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 4501)).  Is there extra money for Congress in this bill? Yes, there is. The Senate gets $10 million, and the House gets $25 million. Where would that money go? It doesn't take too much imagination to come up with items like extra medical, safety, and security precautions for 435 members of the House. Expanded telework with laptops, servers, and more. Cleaning crews to deal with any outbreaks that might touch Congressional offices or the Capitol complex. And finally, even if lawmakers voted themselves a pay raise, they would not be allowed to get any extra money until the new Congress. That's not a law - that's in the Constitution.
  • The morning after the U.S. Senate unanimously approved an unprecedented $2 trillion economic rescue package to confront the negative impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she was already thinking ahead to the next Congressional move to spur economic growth. 'We have to do more,' the Speaker said at a U.S. Capitol news conference, as she told reporters about a phone conversation with Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. 'The Chairman of the Fed, Mr. Powell said to me, interest rates are low, think big,'  'There's no question that more money will be needed,' Pelosi added, as she indicated there would be support to funnel more money directly to Americans. 'I don't think we've seen the end of direct payments,' the Speaker said. Pelosi said the House would vote Friday to approve the $2 trillion economic package, most likely by a voice vote. 'We will have a victory tomorrow for America's workers. If somebody has a different point of view they can put that in the record,' the Speaker said.