On The Money: McConnell sets first vote on coronavirus stimulus for Sunday | Five sticking points to a deal | Four senators sold stocks before coronavirus crashed markets | 'Tax Day' delayed until July 15

On The Money: McConnell sets first vote on coronavirus stimulus for Sunday | Five sticking points to a deal | Four senators sold stocks before coronavirus crashed markets | 'Tax Day' delayed until July 15
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THE BIG DEAL--McConnell sets first coronavirus stimulus package vote for Sunday: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund MORE (R-Ky.) has set up the first vote related to a mammoth stimulus package over the coronavirus for Sunday.

McConnell on Friday teed up a "shell" bill -- essentially a place holder for the agreement, if one is reached.

"I just filed cloture on the motion to proceed to a shell that will serve as the vehicle. ... Member-level discussion is going on as we speak. The goal is to reach agreements on each of the four components of the legislation by the end of the day," he said.

  • Under Senate rules, the earliest the first procedural vote could happen is Sunday.
  • The package is expected to cost approximately $1 trillion, though GOP senators didn't rule out that the number could climb as they negotiate with Democrats.
  • McConnell's decision to tee up the spending package comes as senators, their staff and top administration officials are still behind closed doors trying to reach an agreement.

The negotiations are focused on four groups: health care, small business, tax and impacted industries like airlines.

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Multiple sticking points remain as staffers scramble behind closed doors. Here are five to watch: 

 

LEADING THE DAY

Four senators sold stocks before coronavirus threat crashed market: Four senators sold stocks shortly after a January briefing in the Senate on the novel coronavirus outbreak, unloading shares that plummeted in value a month later as the stock market crashed in the face of a global pandemic.

According to financial disclosure forms, Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress Loeffler under fire for stock trades amid coronavirus outbreak MORE (R-Ga.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP senators urge Saudi Arabia to leave OPEC Overnight Defense: Stimulus bill has .5B for Pentagon | Money would be blocked from border wall | Esper orders 60-day freeze for overseas troop movements Senate panel switches to 'paper hearings' amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (R-Okla.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocratic lawmakers demand government stop deporting unaccompanied children DOJ probing stock transactions made by lawmakers ahead of coronavirus crisis: report Lobbying frenzy connected to stimulus sparks backlash MORE (D-Calif.) and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrDOJ probing stock transactions made by lawmakers ahead of coronavirus crisis: report GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Stimulus bill to prohibit Trump family, lawmakers from benefiting from loan programs MORE (R-N.C.) each sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks within days of the Senate holding a classified briefing on Jan. 24 with Trump administration officials on the threat of the coronavirus outbreak.

The sales raise questions about whether the senators violated the STOCK Act, a law that bans members of Congress from making financial trades based on nonpublic information. I break down the trades here.

 

Tax experts urge Congress to redesign coronavirus rebate checks: Tax experts are urging lawmakers to make changes to the coronavirus rebate checks being considered by Senate Republicans. 

Economic policy analysts at think tanks have flagged several aspects of the checks proposal that they think are problematic, including the fact that the lowest-income people wouldn't qualify for the full amount of the checks, and that the check amounts that people would receive in the near-term are based on their 2018 income.

As Republicans and Democrats race to reach a deal, experts hope that improvements will be made to any rebates proposal included in the final package so that it better helps low-income people. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda explains here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The United Kingdom is moving to help pay up to 80 percent of wages for all U.K. workers to keep the economy afloat through the coronavirus emergency, the government announced Friday.
  • A group of Democratic senators sent a letter to Amazon on Friday pressing the online retailer about workplace safety at its distribution facilities amid the spread of coronavirus.
  • Delivery and take-out options are twice as popular as usual amid the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Yelp.