Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump signals easing coronavirus restrictions | Tensions boil over as Senate fails to advance stimulus bill | Pelosi previews $2.5T House stimulus package

Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump signals easing coronavirus restrictions | Tensions boil over as Senate fails to advance stimulus bill | Pelosi previews $2.5T House stimulus package
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Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE is hinting at easing the severe restrictions put in place by health officials to stop the economy's slide. On Capitol Hill, the Senate's massive economic stimulus bill is stalled, after Democrats blocked the legislation from proceeding for the second time in two days.  

We'll start with news from the White House...

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Trump signals openings

President Trump said Monday that his administration would work to allow local economies to "cautiously resume" activities at the appropriate time amid the coronavirus outbreak, adding that the United States "wasn't built to be shut down."

"Our public health experts, who are terrific, are studying the variation and the disease across the country, and we will be using data to recommend new protocols to allow local economies to cautiously resume their activity at the appropriate time," Trump told reporters in the White House briefing room Monday evening.

"Our country wasn't built to be shut down," Trump continued. "This is not a country that was built for this."

Timeline: The remarks came one week after Trump announced social distancing recommendations for the American public

More tea leaves: Trump tweeted overnight that "we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself" and retweeted a number of supporters calling for Americans to get back to work amid the outbreak. He's also been soliciting ideas from a number of his informal advisors and frequent Fox News guests.

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Read more here.

Pence also seemed to confirm this line of thinking: Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Trump argues full Supreme Court needed to settle potential election disputes Pence adviser knocks ex-staffer who criticized Trump on COVID-19 MORE on Monday said the White House coronavirus task force would evaluate ways to potentially adjust recommendations for social distancing after the 15-day period specified in the initial guidelines expires next week.

"At the end of this 15 days, we're going to get with our health experts. We're going to evaluate ways in which we might be able to adjust that guidance for the American people," Pence told reporters at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters Monday when asked about whether the administration was considering relaxing the guidance in order to stimulate the U.S. economy. 

Read more here.

 

 

Trump's remarks highlighted the broader debate within his administration...

 

Trump team fiercely debates how long coronavirus restrictions should stay in place

A high-stakes debate is playing out among President Trump's closest advisors and confidants over how long to keep in place the severe restrictions meant to combat the novel coronavirus. 

A number of people around Trump have pushed for prioritizing the economy and sending people back to work as quickly as possible, particularly in less afflicted areas.

But that advice is driven by people concerned with the economic damage from the continuing slide in the stock market, rather than public health officials concerned with risking higher infection rates and deaths from the virus.

Sources close to the Trump administration described a "split" in the larger Trump World where some people around the president believe the federal government should ease recommendations on social distancing after the 15-day period while others favor waiting a few more weeks or taking even more dramatic action to stamp out the spread of the virus. 

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Read more here.

 

More from the administration:

Trump jokingly moves away from Birx after she reveals she had a fever

Trump signs executive order to prevent price gouging, hoarding of medical supplies

Trump expresses support for Asian Americans after repeatedly using term 'Chinese virus'

Kudlow says US will have to make 'difficult tradeoffs' on coronavirus: 'Cure can't be worse than disease'

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Census Bureau warns of scam tying responses to stimulus checks

Fox News to host coronavirus virtual town hall with Trump on Tuesday

 

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill...

 

Senate fails to advance coronavirus stimulus bill for second time in two days

There was more gridlock in the Senate on Monday, as a deal remained elusive. 

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The vote to move forward on an economic package failed 49-46, with Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) crossing party lines. 

Read more here

Still hope of a deal? Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate Democrats introduce legislation to probe politicization of pandemic response Schumer interrupted during live briefing by heckler: 'Stop lying to the people' Jacobin editor: Primarying Schumer would force him to fight Trump's SCOTUS nominee MORE (D-N.Y.) said shortly before the vote that he was "confident" that they would be able to get an agreement on Monday. 

"We hope and expect those negotiations to conclude today," he said. 

But by Monday evening it was clear lawmakers were going to miss the Monday deadline.

Members of the Senate Republican leadership team emerged from a closed-door meeting on Monday predicting that congressional leadership and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of emergency loans | House seeks to salvage vote on spending bill | Economists tell lawmakers: Kill the virus to heal the economy Economists spanning spectrum say recovery depends on containing virus Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of current emergency lending programs MORE would not be able to wrap up the stimulus deal by the end of the day.

"Doesn't look like it at the moment. ...I hope I'm wrong. I hope they'll decide to come together," Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot Romney backs pre-election Supreme Court vote, paving way for McConnell, Trump Senate GOP faces pivotal moment on pick for Supreme Court MORE (R-S.D.), McConnell's No. 2, told reporters.

The latest on the talks here.

Sticking Points: Democrats say the Senate GOP bill is too focused on help for major industries and want more measures on expanded paid leave, increasing federal food assistance programs and state stabilization funding. Republicans have countered that Democrats are standing in the way of help for farmers and are trying to push unrelated energy provisions.

 

The vote and the talks marked a tense day in the Senate...

 

Tensions boil over on Senate floor

Tensions boiled over on the Senate floor Monday as senators debated a mammoth coronavirus stimulus package.

The normally clubby atmosphere was gone as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Senate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report Trump argues full Supreme Court needed to settle potential election disputes MORE (R-Ky.) opened the chamber with a blistering speech, Democrats temporary blocked Republicans from speaking and one senator was overheard calling the exchange "bullshit."

McConnell eviscerated Democrats during his speech, at one point asking, "are you kidding me?"

"It is time for Democrats to stop playing politics and step up to the plate," McConnell added.

But the frustrations only escalated from there.

When Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (R-Maine) tried to get permission to speak, Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) objected.

"This is unbelievable," Collins could be overheard saying on the floor, before going to consult with GOP leadership.

More here from Jordain Carney.

 

McConnell warns coronavirus stimulus bill could be delayed for days 

McConnell warned on Monday that a massive coronavirus stimulus package could be delayed for days unless every senator agrees to speed it up. 

McConnell's comments come after Senate Democrats blocked the coronavirus package on a key procedural hurdle for a second time. McConnell did not vote against the package -- a procedural move that would have allowed him to bring it back up quickly. 

McConnell, if he wants to bring the bill back up, will have to go through procedural hoops that will eat up days of floor time. He could speed the process up, but would need consent from every senator. 

Read more here.

 

And don't forget Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GOP senator to quarantine after coronavirus exposure The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill MORE....

 

Paul defends actions before coronavirus diagnosis

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who on Sunday became the first senator diagnosed with coronavirus, is defending his actions while awaiting his results while calling for more testing for the deadly disease.

"For those who want to criticize me for lack of quarantine, realize that if the rules on testing had been followed to a tee, I would never have been tested and would still be walking around the halls of the Capitol," Paul said in a statement on Monday.

"The current guidelines would not have called for me to get tested nor quarantined," he added. "It was my extra precaution, out of concern for my damaged lung, that led me to get tested."

The senator, who had part of his lung removed in August 2019 as a result of injuries after he was assaulted by a neighbor in 2017, has said he was asymptomatic at the time of his testing.

Why Paul is taking heat: Paul sparked criticism with his use of Senate facilities while awaiting his test results. His colleague, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), called it "absolutely irresponsible" and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel said it was a violation of the ophthalmologist's oath as a physician.

Read more here.

More: Paul's diagnosis sends shockwaves

 

More from the Senate:

Some Democrats growing antsy as Senate talks drag on

Grants for airlines on the table, despite criticism of bailouts

McConnell excoriates Democrats over stimulus demands

Romney urges against Mormon families gathering at airport to pick up missionaries

Klobuchar says her husband tested positive for coronavirus

 

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Over in the House...

 

Pelosi previews House coronavirus stimulus as Senate hits roadblocks

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare House lawmakers reach deal to avert shutdown Centrist Democrats 'strongly considering' discharge petition on GOP PPP bill MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday offered an early glimpse of House Democrats' sweeping proposal to boost the crippled economy amid the coronavirus crisis, presenting it as a family-focused alternative to the Senate Republicans' package, which Democrats deem too friendly to corporations.

Pelosi said she still intends to have the House return to Washington to vote on the package but suggested such a step might not be necessary if Senate negotiators can seal a deal on the upper chamber's bill that wins the support of her House caucus.

What they want: House Democrats want to expand funding for unemployment insurance, offer student loan relief, extend the reach of food stamps and bar corporations that receive federal help from buying back stocks or firing employees, among other provisions. The bill would also expand worker safety protections -- like those governing the front-line medical workers dealing with infected patients -- and require the Trump administration to enforce them.

Read more here.

 

More from the House:

House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress

House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic

House Republicans cancel annual retreat over coronavirus concerns

Gaetz accuses Burr of 'screwing all Americans' with stock sale

 

In the states...

 

States urge citizens to stay at home, businesses to suspend in-person operations

A range of states took new action on Monday to tell citizens to stay home to stop the spread of the virus. 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Monday announced "safer at home" orders for their respective states, while Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) called on all businesses and organizations providing nonessential services to close their physical office spaces.

"People across our state are still out and about unnecessarily that are putting our friends, our neighbors, and our communities at risk. Please #StayHome and help us save lives," Evers said. "We also need folks to limit their interactions to the same people, not different small groups. Shrinking your circle of interactions will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately that means no sleepovers, no play dates, and no dinner parties with friends and neighbors."

Whitmer announced a similar order in a news conference Monday, saying "Our aggressive action today will help mitigate how many people get sick and how long our economy suffers."

Read more here.

 

On the campaign trail...

 

Biden looks to counter Trump over coronavirus

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE on Monday accused President Trump of dithering in the early days of the coronavirus, saying that a "failure of planning and preparation" by the White House has worsened the health and economic crises the nation faces.

Biden accused the Trump administration of ignoring early warning signs about the pandemic and of downplaying the disease at critical points when the virus was primarily concentrated in China.

"For too long, the warning signs were ignored," Biden said. "For too long, the administration said the threats were under control, contained, or like the flu. The president said no one saw this coming. That's just not accurate. Our intelligence officials were warning about the coronavirus threat in January.

Trump team fires back: The Trump campaign swung back, saying that Biden should "answer for his own failed record on public health." The Trump campaign accused Biden of mishandling the H1N1 swine flu pandemic from 2009, saying that at the time the administration failed to stockpile respirators.

The political play: Biden's address comes as some Democrats have expressed frustration that he's allowing Trump to take center stage in a time of crisis.

Read more here.

 

From overseas:

Johnson announces new restrictions on UK daily life amid pandemic

New coronavirus cases drop in Italy for second day

Germany's Merkel tests negative in initial coronavirus test

Olympics Committee member says games will be postponed this year

 

Roundup

The Federal Reserve is rewriting its crisis playbook as the central bank takes unprecedented steps to prevent a historic downturn.

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the committee charged with planning the Democratic National Convention to consider emergency "contingency options" for the event, scheduled July 13-16 in Milwaukee.

Texas's attorney general said Monday health care providers can no longer perform surgical abortions because medical resources should be preserved for coronavirus patients.

 

What we're reading 

ObamaCare turns 10 today. Here's a look at what works and doesn't. (The New York Times)

As coronavirus spreads, thousands of foreign doctors could be blocked from U.S. entry, group warns (Stat News)

CDC coronavirus testing decision likely to haunt nation for months to come (Kaiser Health News)

The coronavirus testing paradox (ProPublica)

Why we shouldn't rely on Silicon Valley for face masks (Vox)

Gilead pauses access to experimental Covid-19 drug due to 'overwhelming demand' (Stat News)

 

State by state

ObamaCare turns 10 today. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, fights over its future still rage in NC (News & Observer

Seattle nurses scrounge for masks to stay safe on pandemic's front lines (Kaiser Health News)

Texas, Ohio orders on surgeries prompt new abortion fight (Associated Press)

Volunteers across Alabama sew medical masks the state health officer says won't work (Al.com)

 

The Hill Op-Eds

Congress needs to clear a path for people living with diabetes to stay safe during pandemic