Politics

Senate passes coronavirus rescue package on unanimous vote

The Senate has passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic. Senate passage delivered the legislation to the Democratic-controlled House, which will most likely pass it Friday. Pelosi was a force behind $400 million in grants to states to expand voting by mail and other steps that Democrats billed as making voting safer but Republican critics called political opportunism. The package also contains $15.5 billion more for a surge in demand for food stamps as part of a massive $330 billion title for agency operations. Republicans won inclusion of an “employee retention” tax credit that's estimated to provide $50 billion to companies that retain employees on payroll and cover 50% of workers' paycheck up to $10,000. Companies would also be able to defer payment of the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax.

'Bigger than any one of us': Biden, Sanders take on pandemic

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders are looking to cast themselves as best-positioned to lead the nation through a global pandemic. At Sunday's Democratic debate, Biden pledged to deploy the military to help with recovery efforts, while Sanders used the crisis to pitch his long-sought overhaul of the country's health care system.