Congress passes $900B COVID-19 rescue package after tense negotiations

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Congress passes $900B COVID-19 bill after fiery speech in opposition by Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., addressed the Senate prior to his colleagues’ vote on a $900 billion coronavirus package and told his fellow Republicans who backed the stimulus they are no better than the Democrats they criticize who align themselves with socialism.

Late Monday evening, the House approved the measure by a 359-53 vote. The Senate then followed suit, approving the measure by a 92-6 tally, sending the legislation to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

“To so-called conservatives who are quick to identify the socialism of Democrats: If you vote for this spending monstrosity, you are no better,” Paul said.

The relief package will send a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants and theaters.

“If free money was the answer… if money really did grow on trees, why not give more free money?” he said. “Why not give it out all the time? Why stop at $600 a person? Why not $1,000? Why not $2,000? Maybe these new Free-Money Republicans should join the Everybody-Gets-A-Guaranteed-Income Caucus? Why not $20,000 a year for everybody, why not $30,000? If we can print out money with impunity, why not do it?”

Paul targeted his own colleagues who voted for the bill and said, “When you vote to pass out free money, you lose your soul and you abandon forever any semblance of moral or fiscal integrity.”

He instead called on colleagues to open the economy, cut obvious waste in the budget and stop piling on debt for future generations. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
– McConnell: Pelosi, Schumer could have had COVID aid bill months ago, but wanted to damage Trump campaign
– Dr. Marty Makary: US could reach herd immunity if 20% of population gets the COVID vaccine
– Coronavirus relief legislation includes $10M for ‘gender programs’ in Pakistan
– ‘Squad’ member Ayanna Pressley says inmates should be prioritized for vaccine
–  Mnuchin says $600 coronavirus stimulus checks could arrive next week
– COVID relief package features horse racing safety legislation

Cruz says AOC ‘is right’ to slam amount of time given to read relief package
Members of the House of Representatives and Senate passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill on Monday despite lawmakers being given only about six hours to review the nearly 6,000-page bill when it went live online at 2 p.m.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., was quick to blast the short timeframe, arguing lawmakers “have not read this bill.”

“It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours,” she tweeted. “This isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking.”

She pointed out that the public also needs to be given a chance to see the bill with enough time to contact their representatives to let them know how they feel.

Cruz tweeted earlier that it is “ABSURD” to have “a $2.5 trillion spending bill negotiated in secret and then—hours later — demand an up-or-down vote on a bill nobody has had time to read.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
What’s in the new $900B coronavirus package?
– Top Democrats see $900B COVID package as just the beginning
– Virgin Atlantic, Delta join airlines in requiring negative COVID-19 tests for UK travelers to New York
– Tomi Lahren: Enough with the stimulus checks, let us earn our living

Trump huddles with members of Congress plotting Electoral College objections on Jan. 6
President Trump Monday huddled with members of Congress to discuss plans to object to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win and to force a debate on allegations of voter fraud.

Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., attended the White House meeting and said there’s growing support for GOP lawmakers from the House and Senate to challenge the election results when a Joint Session of Congress convenes on Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College result. The vote was 306 to 232 in Biden’s favor.

“We will be raising objections to the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden for multiple states,” Greene told Fox News.

Greene said the White House meeting including Trump, Vice President Pence, Trump’s legal team and about 15 House members, including GOP Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas. 

Congressional rules require a House member and senator to simultaneously challenge a state’s electoral slate when they jointly convene on Jan. 6. Greene said senators are on board, though she declined to name them publicly. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Marjorie Taylor Greene takes on shutdowns, Fauci during first week in Washington
– Barr: DOJ yet to find widespread voter fraud that could have changed 2020 election
– Federal judge rejects election lawsuit brought by Loeffler, Perdue

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TODAY’S MUST-READS:
– McConnell implores Trump not to veto defense bill, prepares override effort
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THE LATEST FROM FOX BUSINESS:
– COVID-19 spurs families to shun nursing homes in a shift that appears long-lasting
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– Former Google diversity recruiter claims manager told her that her Baltimore accent was a ‘disability’
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– United Airlines will ‘extract’ sick, or possibly sick crew members from abroad using passenger-less planes

#The Flashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sitting in for Sean Hannity on ‘Hannity’ on Monday night, responded to what he called the “hate, rage and anti-Trump psychosis” against Republicans hitting new lows. He cited a Washington Post cartoon that depicted GOP lawmakers as rats.

“The cartoon,” Chaffetz said, “accuses Republicans of subverting the constitution.” He then took on “far-left actor George Takei” for tweeting an attack on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, in which Takei wished Rubio would have an allergic reaction to his COVID-19 vaccination.

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