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THE BIG DEAL—Bipartisan group unveils two-part $908 billion coronavirus package: A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday unveiled its $908 billion coronavirus relief package as Congress faces a time crunch to pass more aid.  

The proposal is split into two parts: 

  • One $748 billion piece includes another round of Paycheck Protection Program assistance for small businesses, support for unemployment benefits, and more money for schools, vaccine distribution and other widely agreed-upon items. 
  • The second $160 billion piece ties together the two most controversial elements of the coronavirus negotiations: more money for state and local governments and protections for businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. 

The Hill’s Jordain Carney has the details here.

The strategy: 

  • Splitting off the two issues could make it easier to convince congressional leaders to take up a smaller coronavirus deal and either pass it or add it to a must-pass government funding deal. 
  • Appropriators are on the cusp of agreeing to a mammoth omnibus bill, which is expected to be the vehicle for any year-end coronavirus relief.
  • But whether congressional leadership will take up the bipartisan bill remains unclear. 

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynMembers of both parties hail Supreme Court decision Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal Sasse: Supreme Court ‘closed the book’ on election ‘nonsense’ MORE (R-Texas), an adviser to McConnell, called the bipartisan bills “good stuff” but said any coronavirus relief was likely going to need to be agreed upon by leadership. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump faces bipartisan, international pushback on Western Sahara recognition Members of both parties hail Supreme Court decision Committees reach bipartisan deal to protect patients from surprise medical bills MORE (D-N.Y.) said that he would review their bills and that Democrats are “100 percent committed” to getting more relief signed into law. 

The push for stimulus checks: The group is also facing pushback from both sides of the aisle because the proposal doesn’t include another round of direct payments. 

Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyDefense bill battle showcases 2024 GOP hopefuls Stimulus checks should take back seat to jobless aid, economists say Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal MORE (R-Mo.) and Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2021: Reality politics vs. liberal fantasy Progressives frustrated with representation as Biden Cabinet takes shape Perdue, Ocasio-Cortez spar on Twitter over Georgia races MORE (I-Vt.) are demanding a vote on their proposal to provide a second $1,200 check and have signaled that they view either a government funding bill or a separate coronavirus deal as leverage. 

The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more on their fight here.

Read more: Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal



Stimulus checks should take back seat to jobless aid, economists say: A bipartisan push to include stimulus checks in the next COVID-19 relief package is raising concerns among economists that other forms of relief considered more effective may be left out.

The Hill’s Niv Elis tells us why here.

Progressives frustrated with representation as Biden Cabinet takes shape: Some progressives are getting increasingly frustrated with the how President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMichigan to close legislative office buildings Monday due to ‘credible threats of violence’ Adviser says Atlanta mayor turned down Biden Cabinet offer Buttigieg tops list for Biden Transportation secretary: CNN MORE’s potential Cabinet is shaping up, venting that the incoming administration does not properly reflect the role progressives played helping Biden get to the White House.

While Biden’s choices so far have largely succeeded in not upsetting the Democratic base, there is bubbling skepticism among progressive groups that Biden will commit to including picks for top Cabinet positions that will represent their views.

“I think the Biden people have been a little bit less concerned about satisfying progressives. I think they’re a little more concerned about not alienating progressives,” said one Democratic strategist close to the transition. The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Alex Gangitano explain here.


  • The U.S. began vaccinating people against COVID-19 on Monday, a sign of hope that the pandemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people in America and sickened millions more, will soon come to an end.
  • Reddit said Sunday it is buying the video sharing app Dubsmash, a competitor to the widely popular app TikTok. 
  • Hackers linked to a foreign government breached systems belonging to the U.S. Treasury Department and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the Commerce Department, multiple news outlets reported Sunday.

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