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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Senate passed the House coronavirus relief bill 90-8 without changes Wednesday, freeing up Congress to focus more energy on passing subsequent legislation that will likely amount to one of the largest emergency spending packages in modern history.

The big picture: The deal, negotiated between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, includes free coronavirus testing — even for the uninsured; two weeks of paid sick and family leave; increased federal funds for Medicaid and food security programs, like food stamps; and increased unemployment insurance benefits.

  • The bill is considered "phase two" of Congress' coronavirus legislative efforts, and negotiations over a "phase three" deal are already underway.
  • It's still unclear how much it will cost, and the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored it. But the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates it will cost roughly $100 billion.

Between the lines: Many senators protested the bill, arguing that it doesn't do enough for small businesses and industries hit hardest by the virus.

  • But McConnell bluntly told those senators Tuesday that they should "gag and vote for it anyway" — and to address their grievances in the next package, which the Senate is in the process of drafting.
  • The “no” votes included Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).

What's next: McConnell said the Senate will stay in session until "phase three" is passed.

  • Senate Republicans are driving the process, and they are working with closely with Treasury and the White House to reach a deal as soon as possible.
  • Talks are still fluid, but the White House is pushing for an additional $1 trillion to be dedicated to combatting the economic effects of the virus.
  • A Treasury fact sheet proposes sending checks to many Americans and devoting $300 billion to helping small businesses.
  • The fact sheet also calls for the creation of a $50 billion “airline industry secured lending facility” that would allow it to make direct loans to “U.S. passenger and cargo air carriers.”
  • The House, which is currently in recess, does not plan to return to Capitol Hill until after the Senate passes a third bill.

Go deeper: White House proposes $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.