What’s the story?
- The Senate is set to return next week for a vote on Republicans’ “targeted” $500 billion coronavirus (COVID-19) relief bill amid the ongoing impasse in negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Trump administration regarding a larger package.
- The bill is expected to be similar, if not identical, to a $500 billion package that got a vote in September, which included $300 billion in new money and repurposed about $200 billion in unspent funding from the CARES Act. That package would’ve provided $105 billion in funding for schools to help with in-person and remote learning, extended federally-enhanced unemployment benefits, replenished forgivable small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, and provided funding for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine development.,
- Senate Democrats blocked the COVID-19 relief package in September, as all 46 Democrats in attendance voted no along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and it fell on 52-47 vote, eight votes shy of the 60 needed to continue the debate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed skepticism that this time will be any different:
“What I’ll put on the floor is a half a trillion dollars ― that’s a lot of money ― half a trillion dollar program to target the actual needs that the country has. I’m not anticipating that [Democrats] are going to support it.”
- President Donald Trump upped his counteroffer to Democrats from $1.6 trillion to $1.8 trillion, but Pelosi has continued to insist that a relief bill must be at least $2.2 trillion. When Pelosi was pressed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on why she wouldn’t accept a smaller deal despite some Democrats openly saying she should, Pelosi accused Blitzer of being an “apologist” for the Republican position.
- The House is not currently in session, although lawmakers were advised before recess began that they may be recalled for votes with at least 24 hours of notice a deal has been reached.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)
Trump Hush Money Trial To Start March 25Updated Feb. 15, 2024, 11:45 a.m. EST A New York judge ruled that Donald Trump's hush money trial will begin jury selection on Law Enforcement
IT: House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, and... How do you feel about Trump's comments?Welcome to Wednesday, February 14th, roses and chocolates... The House impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N.
House Impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasUpdated Feb. 14, 2024, 9:00 a.m. EST House members impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, making him the Immigration
The Latest: World Leaders Talk Ceasefire, ICJ Urged To Stop IsraelUpdated Feb. 13, 2024, 3:30 p.m. EST World leaders are meeting in Cairo to push for a ceasefire in Gaza. President Joe Biden Israel