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House Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

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(CNN) — The House of Representatives on Friday approved a historic $2 trillion coronavirus response stimulus package, clearing the way for President Trump’s signature.

The far-reaching legislation stands as the largest emergency aid package in US history. It injects a massive financial boost into a struggling economy with provisions aimed at helping American workers, small businesses and industries grappling with the economic disruption.

Key elements of the package include sending checks directly to individuals and families, an expansion of unemployment benefits, money for hard-hit hospitals and health care providers, financial assistance for small businesses and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.

“No bill is perfect, but we want to make sure that it at least comes near part of the way to being sufficient,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor. She said she is already working towards a fourth coronavirus response measure: “We know that this cannot be our final bill.”

A bipartisan swath of lawmakers passed the stimulus package by voice vote, a process commonly used in the House for uncontroversial measures, after Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie attempted to force a full roll call vote — a scenario that had members scrambling to get back to the Capitol from around the country on Friday. 

Congressional leaders blocked Massie’s effort, saying an insufficient number of members supported his request. A quorum of the House — 216 members — was needed to block Massie’s attempt. Members who made it to DC for the debate attempted to maintain social distancing, with some staying on the House floor while others sat in the upstairs gallery above the chamber, where the public usually sits.

Essentially, hundreds of lawmakers traveled to the Capitol in the 24 hours leading up to the vote, not to hold a full vote, but in order to prevent a full vote from happening. If a roll call vote had been taken, it would have been very slow: members would have voted in alphabetical groups in order to limit their social interactions.

Massie wrote on Twitter ahead of the showdown that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy worked together “to block a recorded vote just to insulate members of Congress from ACCOUNTABILITY.”

“Biggest spending bill in the history of mankind, and no recorded vote? #SWAMP,” he said.

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Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.

In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Harris, a 55-year-old first-term senator, is also one of the party’s most prominent figures and quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

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Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.

In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Harris, a 55-year-old first-term senator, is also one of the party’s most prominent figures and quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

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Britain Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

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Britain has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong dispute following the introduction of China’s national security law.

Britain says the new national security law in Hong Kong breaches agreements made before the handover of the former British colony.

Speaking on Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC that it was clear the Uighur minority in China had suffered abuses of their human rights.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that the government has “concerns about the treatment of the Uyghur minority obviously, about the human rights abuses,” he promised a “tough” yet balanced approach towards the world’s second largest economy, without abandoning the UK’s “policy of engagement.”

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will arrive in London later today for talks with government officials.

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