Erica Werner, Washington Post

Erica Werner

Washington Post

Washington, DC, United States

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Recent articles by Erica:

Dunford signals he won’t chair coronavirus panel in latest blow to new oversight body

The decision by the retired military leader leaves the panel leaderless nearly four months after its creation. → Read More

Democratic leaders call for negotiations on relief bill as cases spike, GOP postpones action

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Monday to immediately start negotiations on a new coronavirus relief bill. Their demand comes with cases spiking dramatically in a number of states but little urgency from congressional Republicans and the White House to respond. "The… → Read More

Pelosi, McConnell eyeing former Joint Chiefs chairman to chair Congressional Oversight Commission

The people familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement, cautioned that the appointment was not final and Dunford was still going through final reviews. A representative for Dunford declined to comment. Dunford served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs from October 2015 through September 2019. Before that he was commandant of the Marine Corps.… → Read More

Treasury sent $1.4 billion in stimulus payments to dead people, congressional watchdog finds

WASHINGTON -- The federal government sent coronavirus stimulus payments to almost 1.1 million dead people totaling nearly $1.4 billion, Congress' independent watchdog reported Thursday. The Washington Post previously reported that the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service disbursed some payments of up to $1,200 each to dead people. But the astonishing scope of the problem had not been… → Read More

Pence tries to assure GOP senators as coronavirus cases spike

WASHINGTON - Vice President Mike Pence urged GOP senators Wednesday to focus on "encouraging signs" despite a recent spike in coronavirus cases in numerous states as various localities move swiftly to reopen their economies. Pence made the remarks in a closed-door lunch with Republican senators on Capitol Hill as lawmakers have begun to express alarm because of rising infection rates in Florida,… → Read More

Rubio went all-in on small-business program that has become the centerpiece of an economic-revival push

Rubio, the Florida Republican who chairs the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has called Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza to testify about the Paycheck Protection Program. Rubio played a lead role in creating the program as part of the Cares Act in March, and has seen it through two chaotic months. This is… → Read More

Food banks, other key programs have received only a fraction of allotted coronavirus relief funding

More than two months after passage of the $2 trillion Cares Act, funding for some key programs to address the economic devastation from the coronavirus is moving out slowly or not at all. Even after the United States added 2.5 million jobs last month, 20 million people remain out of work and federal bureaucracies charged with processing record sums of money to respond to the crisis are… → Read More

Senate passes bill to increase flexibility for small-business loan program, sending it to Trump’s desk

The central aim of the legislation is to allow businesses 24 weeks — instead of eight — to spend money they receive under the Paycheck Protection Program and have the loans forgiven. The restaurant industry and other business groups had pushed for the change, saying that eight weeks was not enough time, given that the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to stay shut longer than… → Read More

House passes bill to ease access to small-business loans in pandemic, but impasse with Senate remains

The legislation would give businesses more time to have the loans forgiven and paid off by the U.S. government. → Read More

2.4 million Americans filed jobless claims last week, bringing nine-week total to 38.6 million

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration, top Republicans and powerful corporate lobbyists mounted fresh opposition Thursday to extending enhanced unemployment benefits to the growing number of Americans who are now out of work, raising the prospect of significant cuts to their weekly checks unless lawmakers act by the end of July. The latest round of threats came hours after U.S. government… → Read More

House and Senate lawmakers begin efforts to rework Paycheck Protection Program so businesses can have more flexibility

Democrats and Republicans are working to give companies more time to rehire workers as it has become clear that some firms are struggling with the program’s rules. → Read More

$500 billion Treasury fund meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far, oversight commission finds

A Congressional Oversight Commission created by the Cares Act issued its first report even though it still doesn’t have a chair. → Read More

House Democrats near passage of $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill despite Trump’s veto threat

The sweeping legislation, dubbed the “Heroes Act,” also faces opposition within the House Democratic caucus, with some moderate lawmakers objecting to voting on a bill that they all know will not become law. Some liberals, meanwhile, have complained that the package does not go far enough to aid the public in the midst of an unprecedented economic meltdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)… → Read More

but so far no action - about second $1,200 stimulus check for U.S. households

WASHINGTON - Nearly 130 million Americans have received direct payments of up to $1,200 from the U.S. Treasury, a centerpiece of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. But prospects are uncertain for another round of these stimulus checks. President Donald Trump has left the door open to the idea, saying earlier this week that "we're talking about that with a lot of different people."… → Read More

House Democrats unveil coronavirus rescue bill that would direct more than $3 trillion to states, individuals, health systems

The massive new Democratic bill was assembled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her top lieutenants without input from Republicans or the Trump administration. It’s less an opening bid in a bipartisan negotiation than an expression of House Democrats’ priorities that they hope will resonate with the public as the nation suffers through the worst economic calamity since the Great… → Read More

With hundreds of billions of dollars out the door, Congress slowly begins oversight of coronavirus spending

Inspector general nominee will testify before Senate panel Tuesday, but other efforts to scrutinize funding have gotten off to slow start. → Read More

Administration describes dash for coronavirus vaccine that would be available in January

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine that could be fielded nationwide by January, U.S. officials said Thursday, as national stay-home guidance was about to expire. The January timeline represents a fast pace for vaccine development but still means there would be no failsafe protection from the new virus until long after most Americans are likely to… → Read More

Pelosi points to $1 trillion need for state and local governments in next coronavirus bill

House Democrats’ insistence on state and local funding will set up a clash with Senate Republicans. → Read More

Facing uproar over small business program, Trump administration vows to toughen borrower scrutiny

Amid an outcry about large companies receiving the loans, the Lakers repaid the $4.6 million it borrowed. Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC Tuesday that it was “outrageous” that the NBA franchise had obtained the money in the first place. It’s unclear if other professional sports teams received similar loans. The organizations aren’t required to disclose it, and the government has not… → Read More

House set to pass $484 billion bill with money for small businesses, hospitals and testing to battle coronavirus

The country’s economic problems continue to mount, and the White House and Congress have had to continually revisit policies and bailout programs to expand government assistance for more people and businesses. The vote comes after the Labor Department reported that more than 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. More than 26 million have now been laid off or furloughed… → Read More