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Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus unveils $2 trillion coronavirus bill amid deadlock

A bipartisan group of 50 House members known as the Problem Solvers Caucus unveiled a roughly $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill on Tuesday amid frustration with congressional and White House leaders for failing to deliver desperately needed aid to Americans.

Why it matters: The legislation, which is widely viewed as un-passable, is a last-ditch effort by centrist lawmakers to force party leaders back to the negotiating table before the November election.


By the numbers: The proposal, titled “March To Common Ground" and led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), includes ...

  • $100 billion for COVID-19 testing and health care.
  • $316 billion in direct payments to individuals and families.
  • $120 billion in enhanced unemployment benefits.
  • $290 billion for small businesses.
  • $145 billion for schools and child care.
  • $500 billion in state and local aid.
  • $400 billion for election security.
  • $52 billion to support broadband expansion, the agriculture industry, the U.S. Postal Service and the Census
  • Additional language on liability protections 

The bottom line: Few on Capitol Hill, including some in the Problem Solvers Caucus who have championed the bill, think Congress will be able to reach stimulus deal before Election Day.

  • Before the bill was even released, it received sharp criticism from many Republican senators who have insisted that another round of coronavirus stimulus include a smaller price tag. The most recent Senate GOP "skinny" bill was roughly $650 billion.
  • Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers argue the bill doesn't go far enough.

But the measure offers many moderate members who are infuriated with the impasse an opportunity to show their constituents that they are trying to deliver coronavirus aid, and puts added pressure on leaders to do something to help lessen the burden of the pandemic on American families.

Pinpointing climate change's role in extreme weather

Climate scientists are increasingly able to use computer models to determine how climate change makes some extreme weather more likely.

Why it matters: Climate change's effects are arguably felt most directly through extreme events. Being able to directly attribute the role climate plays in natural catastrophes can help us better prepare for disasters to come, while driving home the need to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

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Big Tech takes the climate change lead

The tech industry is playing a growing role in fighting climate change, from zero-carbon commitments to investments in startups and pushing for the use of data to encourage energy efficiency.

Why it matters: Big Tech is already dominating our economy, politics and culture. Its leadership in helping to address climate change — and reckon with its role in contributing to it — could have similarly transformative impacts.

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Lindsey Graham says he will vote for Ginsburg's replacement before next election

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Saturday said he plans to support a vote on President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy left by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, before the election.

Why it matters: Graham in 2016 opposed confirming President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, because it was an election year.

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Schumer: "Nothing is off the table next year" if Senate GOP moves to fill Ginsburg's seat

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats on a conference call Saturday that "nothing is off the table next year" if Senate Republicans move to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat in the coming weeks.

What he's saying: “Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year," Schumer said, according to a source on the call. "Nothing is off the table.”

ActBlue collects record-breaking $30 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

ActBlue, the Democratic donation-processing site, reported a record-breaking $30 million raised from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday in the aftermath of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, NPR writes and ActBlue confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."

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Trump says Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Ginsburg's seat "without delay"

President Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday morning that Republicans have an "obligation" to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court following her death Friday.

What he's saying: "We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices," the president said. "We have this obligation, without delay!"

Hundreds gather to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg along Supreme Court steps

At the Supreme Court steps Friday night hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — singing in a candlelight vigil, with some in tears.

Details: If there is a singular mood at the Supreme Court tonight, it’s some kind of a daze manifested by silence. 

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