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'By Monday' never seemed so far away after Senate fails to advance coronavirus stimulus package
“We need Congressional action by Monday,” warned one Republican administration source late last week to Fox.
“Monday” was supposed to be the deadline for the Senate to act on the third legislative phase of the coronavirus response. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set up a process late last week where the Senate would take a procedural vote Sunday to begin debate on a “shell” of a bill.
Once there was a deal, McConnell would insert the coronavirus package into the parliamentary empty box. The hope was that the Senate could get 60 yeas to open debate on the coronavirus measure Sunday – then speed up the process and pass the bill Monday. Then the House would have to move to align with the Senate sometime in the near future.
That all melted down Sunday night when the GOP-controlled Senate failed to move forward with considering the 1.4 trillion "Phase Three" stimulus package intended to help businesses and families devastated by the downturn over the coronavirus outbreak.
The vote came while at least five GOP senators were in self-quarantine, including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who became the first U.S. senator to announce he tested positive for the virus. Senators were asked to practice social distancing and were given a list of health guidelines to follow while entering the chamber. Mike Lee, R-Utah and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced they would quarantine since they had exposure to Paul.
McConnell excoriated Senate Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for blocking the shell bill Sunday. Pelosi and the House had just returned from a weeklong recess. She had urged colleagues to "take responsibility" as Democrats prepared their own draft. Many Democrats had complained that the draft aid package did not go far enough to provide health care and unemployment aid for Americans, and failed to put restraints on a proposed $500 billion "slush fund" for corporations, saying the ban on corporate stock buy-backs are weak and the limits on executive pay would last only two years.
McConnell accused Democrats of backing out of a bipartisan agreement once Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., intervened. He claimed Pelosi "poured cold water on the whole process" and overstepped her boundaries, saying: "She's the speaker of the House, not the speaker of the Senate."He also said the Senate would re-vote on the motion to proceed with consideration of the bill Monday morning, "15 minutes after the markets open to see if there's a change of heart."
We’ll see if things move on Monday. - Reported by Fox News' Chad Pergram and Bradford Betz. Click here for more on our top story.
Other coronavirus developments:
- Bernie Sanders skips Senate procedural vote, talks with 'Squad' members on livestream instead
- These politicians, public officials have tested positive for coronavirus
- Click here for Fox News' complete coronavirus coverage
Stock futures plunge as coronavirus stimulus package stalls in Senate
U.S. equity futures fell Sunday evening as Congress continued to grapple over the details of a third COVID-19 stimulus package and as millions of Americans remain isolated at home in an attempt to combat the disease.
At 3:10 a.m. ET Dow futures were trading down 612 points, or 3.3 percent, after having fallen by as many as 954 points. S&P 500 futures, which fell by the limit 5 percent, were off 3.3 percent. The losses come after the major averages last week suffered through their sharpest weekly drop since the 2008 financial crisis as more industries instituted massive layoffs and business slowed to a near standstill.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average last week tumbled 4,011 points, or 17.3 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite lost 14.98 percent and 12.64 percent, respectively. Click here for more.
Other related developments:
- Trump outlines broad measures to combat coronavirus in hardest-hit states
- Coronavirus: Everything you need to know
- Amid coronavirus job loss, these apps help people find temp work
Trump hints at possibility of less-restrictive approach in coronavirus fight
President Trump tweeted Sunday that his administration will reassess its response to the coronavirus outbreak at the end of the 15-day period that calls on Americans to limit their normal behaviors in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
Businesses across the U.S. have been turned on their heads as federal, state and local governments called for drastic measures to block more infections. Stocks on Wall Street plunged to their worst losses in more than three decades. "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself," the president tweeted in caps lock, before announcing the reassessment. Click here for more.
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- Singapore to shut down borders Tuesday
New Jersey family brutalized by coronavirus sees two more relatives test positive.
Florida college students test positive for coronavirus after spring break trip.
Tom Hanks takes to Twitter for coronavirus health update.
ICYMI: Neil Diamond updates 'Sweet Caroline' into coronavirus PSA.
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#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on "This Day in History."
SOME PARTING WORDS
Health experts take some lessons from history on how to contain the coronavirus outbreak in "America vs. Virus," a Fox News special hosted by Harris Faulkner
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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Try to stay positive -- we'll get through this coronavirus outbreak together. We'll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.