COVID-19 stimulus relief bill, Chris Harrison addresses ‘Bachelor’ controversy, SpaceX launches Starlink: 5 things to know Thursday

Senate set to begin debate on COVID-19 stimulus bill

Awaiting an estimate for the total cost of the bill, the Senate’s consideration of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill was pushed back a day and will begin Thursday, according to a senior Democratic aide speaking on condition of anonymity. Under the special rules used to pass the bill, the total cost must come in under the $1.9 trillion authorized in previous legislation. The version of the bill passed by the House went billions of dollars over, so Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would have to introduce a Senate version of the bill bringing it in line. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said on a Wisconsin radio station he would threaten to hold up Senate passage of Biden’s bill by forcing Democrats to read the nearly 700-page bill in its entirety and would offer more amendments to the bill following debate, potentially prolonging final passage of the legislation through the weekend..

  • Democrats left scrambling on a $15 minimum wagenow that it appears left out of COVID-19 stimulus bill
  • Americans are more interested in getting stimulus than in seeing bipartisanship support for bill, poll says

The House passed the latest stimulus bill, but what's in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package? What happens next and when will people see any money?


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Mask mandates rolling back in some states, but Biden’s not on board

Four states have now announced rolling back mask mandates in major recalls of COVID-19 safety measures over the last month. But some of the nation’s largest retailers including Kroger, Best Buy, Macy’s, Starbucks and Target are not rolling back theirs. Cities, businesses, and families are often making their own choices of whether to wear masks or go to restaurants, despite governors in Mississippi, Texas, Montana and Iowa urging their residents to go back to a carefree life.  President Joe Biden slammed decisions to reopen, the day after the Texas and Mississippi governors said they’re discarding masking mandates, and said they’re “a big mistake.” “The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it,” Biden said. “It still matters.” Some businesses say they will continue to abide by guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shield their frontline workers from exposure to COVID-19. .

  • Texas isn’t alone. These 15 states also do not currently have a statewide mask mandate.
  • Some states have rolled back mask mandates. More could be on the way.Here’s what it could mean for all of us.

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