The proposal, attempting to cover a range of costs from testing to food safety, was crafted in large part by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. News is also on funding for Homeland Security, industries, and resulting deficits, as well.
The New York Times: Here’s What’s In Congress’s Emergency Coronavirus Bill
The House passed an emergency relief package Saturday to address the sweeping effects of the coronavirus and cushion the economic blow to the most vulnerable Americans. The legislation includes a series of measures intended to bolster the safety net for families and workers whose livelihoods and health are affected by the virus. With President Trump weighing in late to voice his approval, the Senate is expected to take up the package and could pass it as early as next week. (Cochrane and Tankersley, 3/14)
The Wall Street Journal: How Washington’s Own Brand Of Social Distancing Helped Clinch Coronavirus Legislation
To reach a deal on coronavirus legislation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Trump tried their own form of social distancing. With the nation bracing for the coronavirus pandemic, the two sides negotiated a deal that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support early Saturday morning, designed to provide an economic safety net for households affected by the outbreak. The California Democrat worked closely with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the administration’s point man, with the two talking dozens of times in the past week. She and Mr. Trump didn’t speak at all. (Andrews, 3/15)
Politico: White House Eyes Additional Cash For Pentagon, Homeland Security As Virus Outbreak Widens
The White House budget office will send Congress another funding request that would potentially bolster the Pentagon, the VA and Homeland Security as federal agencies work to contain the coronavirus outbreak, an administration official told POLITICO on Sunday night. The Office of Management and Budget plans to ask Congress for the funds sometime mid-week, said the official, who could not provide a dollar estimate or detail specific agency needs, citing the early nature of the discussions. The official did note that the request will focus on meeting the operational needs of agencies on the front lines of the response. (Emma, 3/15)
Politico: K Street Looks To Ride Coronavirus Relief Efforts
Lobbyists for drone makers and hog farmers — not to mention the oil and gas industry, among others — are looking to hitch a ride on the federal government’s coronavirus response. The deluge of “asks,” as K Street refers to such pleas, include policies that might help address the crisis and revive the economy. But other proposals are similar to ones the same industries have pushed for years and have only a tenuous connection to the pandemic. (Meyer, 3/16)
The Hill: McConnell: Discussions Underway On Additional Coronavirus Bills
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Sunday that discussions were already underway about additional coronavirus legislation beyond a second package that passed the House this weekend. McConnell, in a statement, said he had spoken to several GOP committee chairmen “about the next steps,” including helping Americans with financial challenges, efforts to shore up the economy and small business and bolstering the healthcare system. (Carney, 3/15)
The Hill: Coronavirus Spending Will Come Amid Huge Deficits
Since the end of the Great Recession, experts warned policymakers that excessive deficits and low interest rates could make it difficult for the government to address the next economic crisis. The coronavirus pandemic is proving them right, and pointing to a precarious road ahead for the nation’s finances. The deficit for the first five months of the fiscal year already stands at $625 billion, well ahead of last year’s pace, when the deficit stood at $544 billion from October through February. (Elis, 3/15)
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