Coronavirus Updates: McConnell Drops $1 Trillion Plan; Newsom Sends Central California $52 Million
Senate Republicans presented their $1 trillion plan to bolster the pandemic-ravaged U.S. economy in a series of bills that would trim extra unemployment benefits, send $1,200 payments to most Americans and shield businesses, schools and other organizations from lawsuits stemming from coronavirus infections.
The package was pulled together after days of negotiations between Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump’s emissaries that didn’t completely settle differences within the GOP over the size and scope of additional federal spending in response to the pandemic. “We have one foot in the pandemic and one foot in the recovery,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor, noting the rising death toll and a fragile economic recovery. “The American people need more help, they need it to be comprehensive, and they need it to be carefully tailored to this crossroads.” The bill introductions were just the first step toward negotiating a compromise plan with Democrats, who’ve offered their own $3.5 trillion stimulus plan. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced additional funds will be going to counties in the state’s Central Valley – a region where coronavirus cases are spiking. The $52 million is part of a nearly $500 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and will be used to bolster virus testing and healthcare support for eight counties in the hard-hit region.
As hospitalizations and positive tests for the coronavirus continue to rise in many parts of the state, more California counties are imposing fines for individuals violating public health orders, including failing to wear masks. Meanwhile, hundreds of state strike teams have been checking businesses for violations of health mandates.