Apr 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans say they will not negotiate over Paycheck Protection Program

Sen. Mitch McConnell. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released a joint statement Saturday indicating they will not negotiate with Democrats after their proposal to add $250 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program failed Thursday.

What they're saying: "Republicans did not ask to change any policy details that were negotiated by both parties and passed unanimously. All we want to do is put more money into a popular job-saving policy which both parties designed together."

  • "Senate Democrats blocked this funding because Republicans would not open a sweeping renegotiation of the bipartisan CARES Act. Their unrelated demands include hundreds of billions of extra dollars for parts of the legislation which are still coming online and have not yet spent a single dollar."
  • "Republicans reject Democrats' reckless threat to continue blocking job-saving funding unless we renegotiate unrelated programs which are not in similar peril."

Between the lines: "Their statement appeared to deepen a stalemate over Congress’ next steps to address the nation’s economic misery," The Washington Post writes.

Context: Democrats did not approve the proposal on Thursday because they want to add billions more to support hospitals, cities, states, SNAP benefits and more. They also want to ensure half of the proposed $250 billion goes through community banks, emergency grants and other programs that aim to help underserved communities, per the Post.

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with early curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Large crowds took a knee at Arizona's state capitol nearly an hour before the statewide 8 p.m. curfew, and a peaceful march dispersed in Chicago ahead of the city's 9 p.m. curfew.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

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Trump says RNC is looking outside of North Carolina for convention site

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions in North Carolina, the Republican Party will be "forced to seek another state" to host its convention in August.

The big picture: The late-night tweet came after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.