Congress avoids shutdown with stopgap measure as leaders reach coronavirus relief deal

on Dec21
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Congress passes stopgap bill to avoid government shutdown; coronavirus relief deal reached
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday evening said lawmakers have reached a long-awaited coronavirus relief bill, though it will be hours before the full details are made public, Fox News has learned. 

Lawmakers, meanwhile, passed a one-day stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown at midnight Sunday. 

After days of negotiations, McConnell said he was “relieved” that a deal was in the offing even as he warned that “we need to promptly finalize text, avoid any last-minute obstacles and cooperate to move this legislation through both chambers.”

The House and Senate were expected to vote on the legislation on Monday. Before hitting the full House for a vote, the relief bill first must go through the House Rules Committee, though it remains unclear when that will be. 

According to congressional leaders, the agreement would establish temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefits and $600 direct stimulus payments to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers, and renters facing eviction. 

“President Trump has pushed hard for months to send Americans badly needed financial relief. We look forward to Congress sending a bill to his desk imminently for signature,” said Special Assistant to the President, Ben Williamson in a statement. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
Sen. Barrasso on coronavirus relief bill: ‘This gets done today.’
– Tenn. governor enacts COVID restrictions on social gatherings, forgoes mask mandate.
– Kauai sees spike in COVID-19 cases after allowing travel to resume.
– Birx traveled to Delaware vacation property with family after warning of holiday gatherings.
– European nations ban flights from UK to prevent coronavirus mutation from spreading to continent.
– Minnesota restaurants caught violating coronavirus restriction, get severely punished.

Trump campaign takes fight over Pennsylvania election, ballot laws to Supreme Court
President Trump’s campaign team on Sunday filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to reverse several cases by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to change the state’s mail ballot law before and after the 2020 presidential election.

The president’s campaign alleged in a statement that the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court’s changing of the law was a violation of Article II of the U.S. Constitution and Bush v. Gore. 

The petition cites a “related Pennsylvania case” where Justice Samuel Alito and two other justices observed the constitutionality of the state court’s decision to extend the statutory deadline for receipt of mail ballots from 8 p.m. on Election Day to 5 p.m. three days later. 

The campaign team said the constitutionality of the court’s decision had “national importance” and may violate the U.S. Constitution. 

The petition marks the latest episode in an ongoing saga of lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Trump still refuses to concede and continues to promote allegations that there was massive voter fraud. 

The Trump campaign’s petition to the Supreme Court asks for an expedited review and reply by Thursday, giving it enough time before Congress meets in January to “consider the votes of the Electoral College.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Trump responds to Bolton’s ‘incompetence’ claim, hints he could reveal ‘stupid stories’ about former adviser.
– James Carafano: If Biden pursues open-border policy it will pose grave public health risk during pandemic.
– Biden will not discuss Hunter Biden probe with attorney general candidates: Psaki.
– Trump rips former adviser Bolton after martial law report.
– Romney: Trump continuing to dispute election results is ‘really sad’ and ’embarrassing.’

AOC shares COVID-19 vaccination on social media
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as several other New York lawmakers, used social media to document getting vaccinated for the coronavirus Saturday, as the vaccine became available for Congress. 

The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist also posted a photo of her COVID-19 vaccination record card.

Ocasio-Cortez initially posted on her Instagram story that she was headed to her appointment, asking anyone with questions about the vaccine to message her. She wrote, “just like wearing a mask, I would never advise you to do anything I wasn’t willing to do myself.”

Ocasio-Cortez shared a photo of the medical history questionnaire she was asked to fill out beforehand, then a video showing the injection into her upper arm. It was the first of two rounds of the Pfizer vaccine, each administered 21 days apart.

After the shot, she shared a selfie and explained she was waiting in another room for 15 minutes to monitor for headaches or dizziness.

“No problems today!” she wrote. Ocasio-Cortez said immunity should kick in after she receives the second round of the vaccine in January. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

In other developments:
Cuomo: UK’s COVID-19 mutation ‘is on a plane to JFK’ without testing.
– Russian scientist working on COVID-19 vaccine plummets to death in St. Petersburg.
– Coronavirus mutation not vaccine-resistant, current, future surgeon generals believe.
– Murthy believes ‘realistic’ timeline sees public vaccinations starting midsummer.
– Concern among Muslims over halal status of COVID-19 vaccine.


Chicago violence: 5 killed, 29 shot in another bloody weekend
– Hunt for handcuffed suspect who shot cop 3 times: Pa. police
– Bride wants folks to buy lavish wedding – but hasn’t seen them in years.
– The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was the target of a rocket attack Sunday night.
– Charlie Woods fist pumps just like dad after birdie putt.
– Four missing Texas children found, suspect may still be at large.
– Adam Gase, Jets torched after picking up first win, possibly costing them top draft pick.

Waffle House CEO reveals no evidence of coronavirus spread from 2,000+ locations.
– McConnell: Coronavirus relief deal reached, final package expected tonight.
– U.S. COVID-19 testing czar doesn’t believe U.K. travel ban is necessary.
– Google hit with 2 new antitrust lawsuits from 4 private publishers.
– Lockheed Martin enters agreement to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4B.
– Billionaire’s son dies after crashing car into Verizon store.


Steve Hilton on Sunday argued that certain Democratic leaders, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are “deliberately killing small businesses.”

“The lockdowns aren’t just the biggest public policy mistake in history, it’s obvious now that their lockdowns — because they know the pain and death that they are causing, but are doing it anyway — are among the worst moral crimes in history,” Hilton claimed. 

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