As Ohio Gas Prices Surge, Vance Criticizes Ryan and Biden for Energy Policies

Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance criticized the energy and fiscal policies of his Democratic opponent and of the White House on Wednesday, blaming them for the steep gasoline prices Buckeyes now endure.

The average price of a regular gallon of gas in Ohio exceeded $5.00 on Wednesday. That’s a 118.91-percent increase over the $2.32-per-gallon average cost state motorists faced when President Joe Biden took office. In Vance’s estimation, “no one else” bears responsibility for this other than Biden and his “extreme allies in Congress like Tim Ryan (D-13).”

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Democrats Worry About Spike in Obamacare Premiums Ahead of Midterms

Obamacare

As Democrats head into the November midterms with historically low approval ratings, another major factor could arise that will further contribute to the shrinking of their already-slim majorities.

As reported by The Hill, the Affordable Care Act – known colloquially as “Obamacare” – could face a significant increase in premiums due to a lapse in special funding provided by the coronavirus aid bill passed last year. That bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, temporarily increased financial assistance for Americans seeking healthcare through Obamacare; the increase was set to expire just one year after the bill’s passage.

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Commentary: Biden Needs to Take the Blame for Inflation

Last week, President Biden gave a speech listing everyone and everything allegedly responsible for record high inflation. His list included corporate greed and price gouging, Vladimir Putin, and “ultra-MAGA” Republicans. The president said that his policies, and the nearly $7 trillion in spending he authorized, have nothing to do with inflation.

None of this holds up under scrutiny. While President Biden claims that corporations are ripping off Americans, the costs of their supplies have been increasing at a record rate. In reality, many companies that Biden claims are stiffing consumers have actually lost money because they don’t want to alienate their customers by raising prices too quickly.

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American Schools Have Spent Just Seven Percent of Latest COVID Relief Funds

Over one year after the United States Congress passed the “American Rescue Plan,” the vast majority of school districts that were awarded relief funds have spent less than ten percent of that money.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, approximately $122 billion of the overall $1.9 trillion bill was designated for school districts that were determined to be in distress and in need of relief funds. But of that $122 billion, only about 7 percent has been spent in total across all the school districts nationwide that received some handouts.

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IRS Handed Out Over $64 Million in Stimulus Checks to Dead People

An inspector general’s report reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) handed out as much as $64 million in stimulus funding to dead people after Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law.

Just The News reports that the massive oversight was due to a computer error that the IRS was aware of but did not fix at the time. Ultimately, nearly 45,000 total payments were sent to Americans with deceased dependents who died before January 1st, 2021.

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Ohio Awards $25 Million in Grants for School-Based Health Centers

Governor Mike DeWine on Friday announced more than $25 million in funding for “School-Based Health Centers” throughout the state.

The money, which is from the federal government and available through the American Rescue Plan, will fund 136 new or expanded centers.

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Biden Administration to Distribute Millions of COVID-19 Tests to K-12 Schools Each Month

President Joe Biden’s administration plans to provide millions of COVID-19 tests to K-12 schools each month, the White House said in a Wednesday statement.

This month, the Biden administration will start shipping five million rapid COVID-19 tests each month to K-12 schools across the country in an effort to keep schools open amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to White House officials. The new tests will allow schools to double the “volume of testing” from November 2021.

The administration also plans to expand lab capacity to provide an additional five million tests per month so schools can “perform individual and pooled testing in classrooms nationwide.”

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Iowa Attorney General Sues Sioux City, Seeking Permanent Injunction, Civil Penalties Regarding Wastewater

The state of Iowa on Friday sued the city of Sioux City regarding discharge of wastewater.

In the lawsuit, the state asks the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County to make the city pay up to $5,000 per day of violations of state wastewater treatment regulations (Iowa Code section 455B.186(1), 567 Iowa Admin. Code 64.3(1)) and the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. It seeks a permanent injunction preventing Sioux City from further violations of these state laws and the treatment permit requirements.

The state said that for periods between March 15, 2012, and June 8, 2015, Sioux City’s treatment facility would only properly disinfect water discharges on days it collected and submitted samples for E. coli contamination to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the lawsuit said.

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Ohio Flush with Cash After COVID Relief, Infrastructure Bill

Cleveland sign in downtown Cleveland, Ohio

After its major cities raked in more than six billion dollars from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan for COVID-19 relief, Ohio will once again be flush with federal cash. 

The state is expected to receive more than$10 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is meant to be spent on rebuilding roads, bridges and other public structures, according to reports. 

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Ohio Cities Spending Federal COVID Relief Dollars on Anything But COVID Relief

Of the $6.6 billion given to Ohio cities in federal pandemic relief funds, much of the money has been allotted for projects unrelated to COVID-19, or has not been allotted for spending at all. 

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March, providing a total of $1.9 trillion in federal funds for pandemic relief. That money was spread around the country, and cities were supposed to report their expenditure plans to the federal government by Oct. 31.

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Tenants Nationwide Behind on Rent Despite Billions of Unspent Federal Aid

Low-income tenants across the country are behind on rent payments because of the pandemic, even as billions of dollars appropriated by Congress to assist renters remain untouched.

About $5.2 billion of the $46.6 billion — roughly 11% — set aside for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program has been distributed to low-income tenants, according to the most recent data released by the Department of the Treasury on Wednesday. House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry characterized the Biden administration’s handling of the ERA program as “gross mismanagement.”

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Jobless Claims Climb with Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Set to Expire

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 353,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday presents a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Aug. 14, when 349,000 new jobless claims were reported. The Aug. 7 to Aug. 14 figure was revised from the 348,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Biden Keeps Making the Same Dubious Jobs Claim

President Joe Biden repeatedly mischaracterized the job growth that has occurred since he took office, saying it is a product of his administration’s economic agenda, multiple media fact checkers have reported.

While the Biden administration has overseen the economic recovery during a period of large gains in the labor market, the White House hasn’t acknowledged that states reopening and ending pandemic-related business restrictions is likely the main catalyst for such growth. The president has also credited without evidence the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which he signed into law in March, for driving job growth.

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Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, and St. Louis Among the Cities Experiencing the Highest Consumer Price Spikes

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve Bank and Congress have taken unprecedented steps to stabilize the economy after entire industries and sectors ground to a halt last year amidst the public health crisis. The Fed has kept interest rates near zero, created lending programs to pump trillions of dollars into the economy, and bought securities to support financial markets. Congress passed three major COVID-19 stimulus packages in response to the crisis: the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December 2020, and the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March 2021.

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Biden Administration Unveils ‘Historic’ Investment for Communities That Could Create 300,000 Jobs in the ‘Near Term’

President Joe Biden’s administration announced that it would give $3 billion in coronavirus stimulus funds to approved local communities across the country.

The program dubbed “Investing in America’s Communities” amounts to the largest initiative of its kind in decades, according to the Department of Commerce. Local governments and organizations nationwide impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are able to apply to receive the federal funds.

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Ohio Republicans Want $1000 Bonuses for Police, EMT, Firefighters

Ohio House Republicans have proposed $1000 bonus checks for first responders who worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Using federal relief money from the American Rescue Plan, the last economic stimulus law, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMT), and police officers would receive the bonus, which is expected to cost around $83 million.

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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Biden Touts American Rescue Plan, Affordable Care Act at the Ohio State University

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As President Joe Biden made his first visit to Ohio since taking office Tuesday, he was criticized for what one policy group called unnecessary spending. 

Biden, in Columbus to tout his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the recently passed American Rescue Plan, visited the James Cancer Hospital at The Ohio State University late Tuesday afternoon.

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Ohio AG Responds to Criticism of American Rescue Plan Lawsuit

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost continues to receive support and criticism from groups throughout Ohio a day after announcing a lawsuit challenging requirements in the federal American Rescue Plan.

Policy Matters Ohio, a nonprofit progressive think tank, called Yost’s decision to seek an injunction to stop the state’s obligation to not cut taxes if it accepts more than $5 billion off base.

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