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Mitch McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

After days of intense negotiations, talks between Capitol Hill leaders and the White House over a Phase 3 stimulus package to fight the coronavirus broke down on Sunday, leading to a failed cloture vote meant to move the bill forward.

Why it matters: The emergency legislation, which is expected to be one of the largest and most expensive stimulus packages in American history (it could grow beyond $2 trillion), would deliver desperately needed aid to American families, small businesses and corporations hit hardest by the virus.

  • But Democrats say Republicans aren't giving them enough to support the costly measure, diminishing hopes that a final vote would take place on Monday.

The latest: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led a meeting this morning with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to hammer out the sticking points.

  • But Democrats left the meeting protesting that the bill is a corporate slush fund that doesn't do enough to protect workers from layoffs, gives the Treasury too much power to make its own decisions, and doesn't provide any money for state and local governments, among other complaints.
  • McConnell then pushed a 3pm vote on a motion to proceed — which requires 60 votes — to 6pm, giving the two sides more time to negotiate.
  • After a series of additional talks, the cloture vote failed along party lines 47-47, forcing the group back to the negotiating table.

Details: The deal — as it stands currently — dedicates $250 billion to go directly to Americans. Many individuals will receive $1,200 direct deposits, along with an additional $500 for each child. A family of four would receive $3,000. That money begins to phase out for Americans making more than $75,000 per year.

  • The package allots $350 billion to small businesses to help keep workers on payroll. Mnuchin said this morning that these "small business retention loans" will be forgiven.
  • The deal offers 39 weeks of unemployment insurance to eligible workers, retroactive to Jan. 27.
  • It also includes $242 billion for public safety net programs, including more money for SNAP, child nutrition and the Centers for Disease Control. Hospitals will get roughly $110 billion, according to Mnuchin.
  • The original Phase 3 bill text called for $208 billion in loans to airlines and other industries, which would have to be repaid. This number may still change.

What's next: McConnell will continue to work with Democratic leaders and the White House to reach a deal that will win enough Democratic votes to pass.

  • One the bill passes the Senate, members of the House, who have been on recess for over a week, will try to pass it via unanimous consent. If that fails, they may be forced fly back to Washington.
  • There have already been early talks of a Phase 4 deal, according to senior Senate and House aides.
  • There are no specifics yet, but Mnuchin said this morning that the legislation would provide relief for 10–12 weeks — a time frame that falls short of expectations laid out by public health officials for how long the virus will persist.

Go deeper

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of Tonga's volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Haʻapai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could be contaminated.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

5 hours ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.