Senate GOP blasts 'blue state bailout' in Biden's $1.9T coronavirus bill

Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here's what you need to know as you start your day ...

Senate GOP blasts 'blue state bailout' in Biden's $1.9T coronavirus bill
Senate Republicans railed against President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus legislation as a liberal bailout to blue states -- and planned to make passage of the bill as painful as possible for Democrats this week.

Republicans lashed out against the $350 billion allocated in the bill for state and local governments and said the new funding formula disproportionally benefits the blue states of New York and California.

"This bill would reward bad actions, because states who have not managed themselves well are the ones who are going to benefit from this," said Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. "It is like manna from heaven for them."

Blackburn was among nine GOP senators at a Capitol news conference Wednesday saying residents of states with healthy finances shouldn't have to provide funds to help liberal states.

"We have the good people of Iowa being asked to support blue state bailouts," Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said. "And you know who receives the most in these blue state bailouts? ... Chuck Schumer's state of New York and Nancy Pelosi's state of California." CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
- 108 illegal immigrants released by Border Patrol in Texas test positive for coronavirus, officials say
- Sen. Ron Johnson plans to delay $1.9T COVID relief bill by having all 600 pages read
- Hannity: Biden allowing COVID-positive migrants to enter US is actual ‘Neanderthal thinking’
- Gov. Brian Kemp: COVID relief – Pelosi-Schumer plan favors Democrat states. Here's how we fight back
- Hannity: COVID aid bill is both socialist 'wish list' and 'bailout' to Democrat-run states

Sean Hannity slams 'swooning' media for failing to hold Andrew Cuomo accountable
The mainstream media was "rarely interested in any serious coverage" of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prior to the current sexual harassment scandal, Sean Hannity told viewers Wednesday.

"If the media mob had ethics or standards, Andrew Cuomo would have been under fire long ago for what is the biggest nursing home death cover-up in the country. We have covered it on this program from day one," the "Hannity" host said.

However, rather than demanding transparency and accountability, Hannity charged, the media "were too busy swooning over his PowerPoint press conferences.

"Now here we are one year later, Governor Cuomo is still refusing to take any responsibility for the damage, the pain that his [nursing home] executive action caused, even claiming today he has never done anything in his public career [that] he is ashamed of," Hannity added.

Earlier Wednesday, Cuomo addressed the sexual harassment allegations against him, telling reporters he understood that he "acted in way that made people feel uncomfortable," but refused to step down, saying, "I work for the people of New York. They elected me." CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
- Cuomo rips de Blasio, NYC amid apology over sex harassment claims
- Cuomo's apology an 'admission of guilt,' Rosie Perez says: 'Come on, dude, really?'
- Examples in state-mandated sex harass training strikingly similar to Cuomo allegations
- Maria Shriver reacts to Andrew Cuomo's apology: 'Will that be enough?'

White House cuts virtual event feed after Biden says he's 'happy to take questions' from House Democrats
The White House raised eyebrows on Wednesday when it suddenly cut the feed of a virtual event after President Biden said he was "happy to take questions" from Democratic lawmakers. 

Accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and the House Democratic Caucus, Biden addressed lawmakers on the topics of COVID relief and the ongoing vaccine rollout. He closed his remarks by calling on Democrats to help "restore faith" in government. 

He then appeared ready to take questions. 

"I'd be happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do, Nance," Biden told the speaker. "Whatever you want me to do."

The feed ended seconds later, after a brief pause from the president. The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
- Dan Gainor: Hidin' Biden – Still no presidential press conference but Dems like basement strategy
- Biden still hasn’t held a news conference after 43 days in office
- Biden’s post-inauguration honeymoon appears to be over, new poll suggests
- Biden’s failure to get Tanden confirmed follows other aborted presidential nominations in history

- House Democrats pass extensive voting and campaign finance reform bill, H.R. 1
- Two SUVs breached US-Mexico border in California – then crashed, burned in separate accidents: reports
- AOC invokes Denmark in minimum wage debate — critics point out Denmark doesn't have a federal minimum wage
- Gingrich claims Democrats have 'given up keeping House' in 2022, are 'ramming through everything they can'
- Colorado murder trial witness is shot, killed; police offer reward for info
- Horrific video shows Bolivian university students falling to their death after metal rail collapses

- Amazon's first cashierless store arrives in Britain in sign of global expansion
- Barstool's Portnoy backs new BUZZ ETF
- SpaceX Starship prototype explodes after 'soft landing'
- Biden tightens $1,400 stimulus check income limits amid pressure from moderate Dems
- Disney to close at least 60 Disney Stores in North America before end of year
- Facebook lifting political ad ban imposed after 2020 election

#The Flashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on "This Day in History."



President Biden could be "the most absent president ever," Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo said Wednesday night on "The Ingraham Angle."

"He hasn’t held a press conference after 43 days in office, something no president in a hundred years has done," Arroyo said, adding Biden "restricts himself to tightly controlled events like this bipartisan cancer meeting in the Oval [Office] today. The press was shoved out in a few minutes and when Biden does speak, he offers ‘ahhh-dresses.’"

Not signed up yet for Fox News First? Click here to find out what you're missing.

Fox News’ Go Watch page is now available, providing visitors with Pay TV provider options in their area carrying Fox News Channel & Fox Business Network.

Fox News First was compiled by Fox News' Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Friday.