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Opinion The Coronavirus Bill Is a Massive Lifeline for Everything... Except Democracy

00:50  26 march  2020
00:50  26 march  2020 Source:   thedailybeast.com

McConnell says Senate will pass House coronavirus bill without changes

  McConnell says Senate will pass House coronavirus bill without changes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday the upper chamber will pass the House's second coronavirus funding package without changes.The decision comes despite some vocal GOP opposition to the measure over concerns about its impact on small businesses. "My counsel is to gag and vote for it anyway," McConnell said. The House bill provides up to 10 days of paid leave for some workers and bolsters unemployment insurance. TheThe decision comes despite some vocal GOP opposition to the measure over concerns about its impact on small businesses.

The Senate's trillion coronavirus relief package is expected to pass sometime Wednesday before being sent to the House. The historic bill is designed to help workers and businesses affected by the damage the coronavirus pandemic is causing the economy, including people who have already lost

Everything from ,200 government checks for individuals to hundreds of billions of dollars to fight the crisis are included. "Like all compromises, this bill is far from perfect, but we believe the legislation has improved significantly The deal also includes a massive expansion of unemployment insurance.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

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The sweeping $2 trillion deal that Congress and the White House reached on Wednesday seeks to ward off widespread economic and public health catastrophe caused by the coronavirus outbreak—but it may overlook the unprecedented disruption that it’s already having on American democracy.

As states cancel their spring primary elections to avoid spreading the virus—and questions loom over whether the November elections to decide control of the White House and Congress can happen without significant changes—the latest relief package provides $400 million for states to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 federal election cycle.”

McConnell warns coronavirus stimulus bill could be delayed for days

  McConnell warns coronavirus stimulus bill could be delayed for days Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned on Monday that a massive coronavirus stimulus package could be delayed for days unless every senator agrees to speed it up. McConnell's comments come after Senate Democrats blocked the coronavirus package on a key procedural hurdle for a second time. McConnell did not vote against the package - a procedural move that would have allowed him to bring it back up quickly.

U.S. senators look to quickly pass massive coronavirus bill , head home. The stimulus bill is expected to pass the Republican-led Senate easily, more so because Republican Senator Rand Paul, the only senator to vote against an earlier round of emergency virus funding, may be unable to vote

U.S. senators look to quickly pass massive coronavirus bill , head home. The stimulus bill is expected to pass the Republican-led Senate easily, more so because Republican Senator Rand Paul, the only senator to vote against an earlier round of emergency virus funding, may be unable to vote

States need those funds to implement vote-by-mail systems and other measures so that voters can still cast their ballots in November no matter the status of the coronavirus emergency. Lawmakers and election security experts widely agree, however, that the sum appropriated by Congress falls far short of what will be needed to guarantee a fair, open, and functional 2020 election process.

“The election funding included in the final stimulus package provides important assistance to states to expand access to the polls,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), “but it’s not enough to guarantee full implementation of these critical election reforms.”

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, which advocates for voting rights, said on Wednesday it estimates state and local officials need at least $2 billion to make that happen. “That funding is not partisan and it is not a luxury. Time remains of the essence,” said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center. “Congress must do better when it composes the next stimulus package.”

Verizon adds 15GB of high-speed data to help stay connected during coronavirus

  Verizon adds 15GB of high-speed data to help stay connected during coronavirus Extra connectivity in trying times.The move, which runs from March 25 through April 30, is the latest from the wireless carrier as it looks to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. The company says that "all wireless plans available since 2015 are eligible for this data boost," with the offer working on both consumer and small business plans as well as those on prepaid plans.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the proposal "the largest rescue package in American history." Schumer said that the bill is On Wednesday, the US Senate and the White House reached a deal on a massive trillion relief bill to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus

Democrats blocked a massive .8 trillion stimulus spending bill to protect the U.S. economy and provide relief to American families who are suffering as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. “The fate of a sweeping government rescue package to prop up an economy devastated by the coronavirus

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, states such as Louisiana, Ohio, and Maryland have moved to push back their spring contests that were set to be held in the coming weeks. 

In the states that have held recent contests, a large push was made to encourage either in person early voting or mail-in voting to help prevent large lines on election day. Despite that, issues with poll worker staffing and voter confusion still troubled some states as tension between public health needs and the desire to cast a vote grew worse. 

As Congress and the White House negotiated, a number of lawmakers—led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Coons—pushed for a nationwide expansion of no-excuse voting by mail, along with extending the timeframe for in-person early voting and reimbursing states for any pandemic-related costs. Those measures were not included in this round of legislation.  

Here's what's in the developing coronavirus stimulus bill

  Here's what's in the developing coronavirus stimulus bill Chuck Schumer said Republicans and Democrats were at "the 2-yard line" as they tried to reach a coronavirus stimulus deal.Senate Democrats struck down the bill in a procedural vote on Monday amid a gulf in what both parties wanted to include in it. But they made progress by Tuesday morning, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the sides were at "the 2-yard line.

The lifeline was cut Sunday, leaving hundreds of people stranded at railway stations, hoping to be carried onward by buses or taxis that appeared unlikely to arrive. 'The USA is a VIP country, you can block it for a month and it's okay, but in India you have to take care of the poor.'

The minister noted that police and gendarmes only – not military personnel – will enforce the restrictions. President Macron declared “war” on the lethal outbreak in a national address earlier on Monday, ordering all citizens to remain indoors during a nationwide lockdown that begins Tuesday.

But voting issues proved to be just one of many hang-ups in a marathon week of negotiating between congressional leaders and the administration, which resulted in the single biggest relief package in U.S. history.

The sweeping, $2 trillion bill seeks primarily to mitigate the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus by sending Americans direct cash payments—$1,200 for individuals and at least $2,400 for households making less than $150,000 a year—while extending and expanding unemployment benefits for the growing number of laid-off workers. It also provides for $850 billion in loans for distressed businesses, from national airlines to small businesses, through the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration. 

A section of the bill appropriates $330 billion in government spending to fight the coronavirus and deal with its fallout—from piles of new funds for agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration to grants for education funding and domestic violence prevention.

Trump calls for $2 trillion infrastructure bill to help economy during coronavirus crisis

  Trump calls for $2 trillion infrastructure bill to help economy during coronavirus crisis Trump calls for $2 trillion infrastructure bill to help economy during coronavirus crisis"With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4," Trump wrote in a tweet.

The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus . Senate leaders and the Trump administration neared bipartisan agreement Monday night on a massive stimulus bill that could inject trillion into the economy to

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed early Wednesday morning that a bipartisan deal for a nearly trillion emergency relief package to address the coronavirus pandemic has been reached. McConnell said the deal “will get more equipment to the heroes on the front lines ” and that “this is a

There were, of course, some winners and losers: the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. got $25 million to deal with the coronavirus; the Environmental Protection Agency, by contrast, got $7 million. 

The bill also has important tweaks to existing tax rules: for one, it incentivizes charitable contributions through deduction mechanisms aimed at the well-off and corporations. Just for 2020, it lifts a cap that prevents individuals and households who itemize deductions on their tax form—typically a richer cohort than those who take the standard deduction—from writing off more than half of their adjusted gross income. It also permits corporate entities to deduct a full quarter of their taxable earnings, up from the usual 10%. Those who don't itemize will be allowed to write off up to $300 in cash gifts to houses of worship and 501(c)3 nonprofits.

These provisions alone make Congress’ last comparable effort—the 2008 bank bailout—look small-ball by comparison. On top of that, though, the bill injects a pile of cash into the country’s increasingly overtaxed health care system: it has over $100 billion in assistance for hospitals and clinics, and over $150 billion in emergency relief funds for the state, local, and tribal governments that are quickly going broke responding to the outbreak. 

Four dead on cruise ship heading to Florida

  Four dead on cruise ship heading to Florida Four people have died from coronavirus on a cruise ship that is headed to port in For Lauderdale, Fla. Holland America confirmed earlier this week that 77 crew and passengers on the ship Zaandam. were sick with coronavirus symptoms.

The agreement sets up what could be an unusually quick Senate vote to approve the bill, assuming senators can overcome fresh dissent over the terms of unemployment assistance, which a group of GOP senators argue is so generous so as to disincentivize going to work.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives—whose members are currently back home in their districts—could move to pass the massive bill very soon without those members returning, so long as no lawmaker is physically present to object.

Even as they arrived at yes on a historic bill to provide relief to a county in crisis, congressional Democrats and Republicans couldn’t help but continue sniping at each other over the process—a reflection of how messy and bitter the last week was, even by Capitol Hill standards.

After days of negotiating among Senate GOP and Democratic committee chairs and leadership last week, things took a turn towards the acrimonious. To hear Republicans tell it, Speaker Nancy Pelosi flew in from California and Democrats blew up negotiations with a list of demands. To hear Democrats tell it, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walked away from the table, forcing them to block a bad bill as they fought for more time to improve a flawed bill that the country couldn’t afford to mess up. 

In a letter to colleagues announcing the deal early Wednesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) trumpeted a number of policy wins that Democrats secured, from expanding hospital funding and unemployment insurance to strengthening transparency of how bailout money is spent. 

“Rather than accept such a fundamentally flawed, partisan bill, Senate Democrats have been working hard on a bipartisan bill with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Trump,” said Schumer.”

Republicans found this incredibly rich. “The reality is that almost every significant ‘win’ he's taking credit for,” said a senior GOP aide, “is actually a Senate Republican idea.”

—with reporting from Will Bredderman

Read more at The Daily Beast.

What's in Congress' $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package .
The massive stimulus package negotiated between the Trump administration and congressional leaders early Wednesday is an unprecedented $2 trillion aid package designed to help the public and the economy to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill provides direct help to citizens, businesses, hospitals and state and local governments. It needs to be passed by the Senate and the House. A Senate vote may come as soon as Wednesday.Here are some of the provisions:Big BusinessesAbout $500 billion can be used to back loans and assistance to companies, including $50 billion for loans to U.S.

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