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Pelosi sets 48-hour deadline for White House on stimulus talks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given the White House a 48-hour deadline to reconcile differences in stimulus negotiations "to demonstrate that the administration is serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement," a top Pelosi aide tweeted Sunday night.

The state of play: Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for over an hour Saturday night, and the discussions yielded "some encouraging news on testing," deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said. But the pair still had differences on a plan for testing and contact tracing and "measures to address the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color."


  • Hammill had tweeted on Thursday Mnuchin had agreed to accept the Democrats' language on a national testing plan with "minor" edits after an hourlong discussions.
  • President Trump has been eager for a pre-election stimulus boost to the economy and has encouraged Mnuchin to go further than his current $1.8 trillion proposal — even though it has virtually no chance of passing the Senate.

Yes, but: The House speaker did not say what would happen if the parties didn't reach a deal by the deadline she imposed.

What they're saying: "The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke at 7:40 p.m. by phone tonight for just over an hour. While there was some encouraging news on testing, there remains work to do to ensure there is a comprehensive testing plan that includes contact tracing and additional measures to address the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color," Hammill wrote in a series of tweets.

  • "There remains an array of additional differences as we go provision by provision that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours."
  • "Decisions must be made by the White House in order to demonstrate that the Administration is serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement that provides for Americans with the greatest needs during the pandemic."

The other side: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would not put a potential $1.8 trillion+ deal struck by Democrats and the Trump administration on the Senate floor. Instead, the Senate will vote next week on a Paycheck Protection Program extension and a targeted $500 billion relief package.

What to watch: Pelosi and Mnuchin are set to continue talks on Monday, per the Wall Street Journal.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

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The coronavirus is worsening economic inequality around the world

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

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McCarthy takes heat from every direction as House Republicans feud following the Capitol siege

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

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The next big political war: redistricting

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

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Vaccinations, relief timing dominate call among bipartisan group of 16 senators

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

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Progressives use billboard to pressure Chuck Schumer to end Senate filibuster

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

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U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

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