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Congresswoman’s dog named, named ‘Fauci,’ dominates CNN interview

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Even though many in the U.S. have been working from home for nearly the entirety of 2020, there are still a few bumps in the process that are yet to be smoothed out — like dealing with demanding pets. 

Rep. Donna Shalala, a Democrat who represents Florida’s 27th district in the U.S. House of Representatives, was trying to speak about Congress struggling to pass another stimulus bill during a CNN appearance on Saturday morning. And her dog, named Dr. Fauci after the country’s leading infectious disease expert, weighed in with his own thoughts mid-interview.

Shalala tried to express her frustration over her colleagues’ reluctance to pass another initiative like the CARES Act, which expanded unemployment benefits and set aside funds meant for small businesses affected by social distancing measures, but was continually interrupted by Fauci (the dog, not the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases). 

She briefly left the frame to attend to Fauci (again, the dog not the human) and returned with him to complete the interview with the pooch in her lap.

“There’s no reason why we can’t get this done now,” Shalala continued. 

Fauci (the dog, not President-elect Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor) chimed in with his own frustration, growling and barking at the fact that lawmakers are still sparring over a few details in the proposed $900 billion relief package

“And my dog feels the same way,” Shalala added. 

The proposed bill has similar stipulations to the relief bill passed earlier this year. This second package includes another round of stimulus checks, but individuals will only receive around $600, compared to the $1,200 they received from the CARES Act. On the plus side, this new round of payments will also be available to dependents, who could not receive them under the CARES Act. 

Furthermore, unemployment benefits will be boosted to include another $300 per week. The expanded benefits under the CARES Act, which provided unemployment recipients with an extra $600 per week, ended in July. The second bill would also allocate funds for vaccine distribution, renters, schools, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Lawmakers are still clashing over whether to expand the powers of the Federal Reserve. Progressives are also frustrated that the proposed legislation does not provide enough aid for struggling Americans.

No matter the outcome, Shalala and Fauci (the dog, not the very human immunologist) are sure to have something to say about it. 

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