A new $1 trillion COVID-19 response package by Senate Republicans is supposed to give the government more weapons to battle the surging coronavirus pandemic. But GOP lawmakers have more than just the “invisible enemy” in mind.
The Republican measure includes billions for F-35 fighters, Apache helicopters and infantry carriers sought by Washington’s powerful defense lobby. Overall, the proposal stuffs $8 billion into Pentagon weapons systems built by defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics — corporate titans that sit atop the Washington influence industry.
The bill, drafted by Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Richard Shelby, R-Ala., would deposit $2.2 billion in Pentagon shipbuilding accounts, boost missile defense systems in California and Alaska and deliver about $1.4 billion for C-130 transport planes and F-35 fighters manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. Some of the F-35s could be delivered to an Air National Guard unit in Montgomery, Alabama. Read the full story here:
Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.
- Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Raleigh on Wednesday morning in a push to encourage more K-12 schools to reopen with entirely in-person instruction.
- Federal Reserve officials are grappling this week with the timing and scope of their next policy moves at a time when the raging viral pandemic has weakened the U.S. economy.
- Russian officials on Wednesday rejected accusations that Moscow is spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., slamming them as “conspiracy theories” and a “persistent phobia.”
- The baseball season descended deeper into crisis Tuesday, states like Mississippi and South Carolina cast about for more hospital beds, and governors in some of the hardest-hit places staunchly resisted calls to require masks, despite confirmed cases of the coronavirus soaring.
- The Senate's top Republican said Tuesday that he opposes a push by President Donald Trump to include nearly $1.8 billion in a new coronavirus aid package to rebuild the FBI headquarters on its current site in downtown Washington.
- A Republican proposal to slash the $600 weekly benefit boost for those left jobless because of the coronavirus shutdown could result in weeks or even months of delayed payments in some states.
- One of the nation's largest teachers unions is authorizing its members to strike if their schools plan to reopen without proper safety measures in the middle of the global pandemic.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he might extend the statewide moratorium on housing evictions that is set to expire on Saturday.
- Amid the chaos of the pandemic’s early days, doctors who faced the first coronavirus onslaught reached across oceans and language barriers in an unprecedented effort to advise colleagues trying to save lives in the dark.
- New York's governor says he is “appalled” by videos showing crowds standing close together at a Hamptons concert featuring electronic music duo The Chainsmokers over the weekend.
- The NBA, at long last, is officially back. A re-opening night doubleheader inside the bubble at Walt Disney World awaits Thursday, when New Orleans takes on Utah before a matchup of the two teams in the Western Conference — the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.
For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further to see how Americans used their stimulus checks, plus the latest virus numbers.
Virus by the numbers
Coronavirus cases and deaths by day
COVID-19 cases by county
The coronavirus 'curve,' by country
Coronavirus spreads across the United States
COVID-19 testing, ranked state by state
AP chart: More virus cases in GOP-run states
Racial breakdown of COVID-19 cases
US spread compared to other countries
Map shows global spread of coronavirus
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