Increasing Congress' oversight ability of coronavirus relief packages faces hurdles, including fierce accusations from Republicans of injecting partisan politics into a global health crisis—tension that could exacerbate talks as Democrats push for more aid amid skyrocketing unemployment numbers.
Republicans want to ensure a $2 trillion relief package is implemented properly before setting their sights on doling out more federal funds.
In March 2020, the FBI conducted around 3.7 million background checks, more than in any single month since the NICS system was established in 1998.
The end goals laid out by Democrats—expanding access to things like clean water, tele-health, remote teaching, broadband internet and 5G—are objectives that could require time-consuming solutions but yield long-term benefits, some economists said.
"I'm going to be working closer with the president, not less so," Meadows said in December.
Expanding digital infrastructure, like broadband internet and 5G, and access to clean water are on Democrats' wish list as the coronavirus pandemic has forced much of the globe to function remotely from the safe confines of one's own home.
The announcement could mean that hundreds of lawmakers were exposed to a coronavirus infection.
Congress is not expected to return to the nation's capital until April 20, at the earliest.
The effort by Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky to force a recorded vote rather than a voice vote on a $2 trillion economic stimulus was shot down with bipartisan support—an extraordinary phenomenon for a chamber split by bitter partisan politics.
It wasn't the only non-coronavirus measure that made its way into the historic stimulus package.
Trump, who supports the legislation and which has broad bipartisan support, labeled Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) a "third rate Grandstander" who should be thrown out of the Republican Party by voters.
Lawmakers say they're eyeing a variety of different proposals for a "Phase 4" package.
The economic relief plan for American workers, businesses and hospitals is now expected to be passed by the House on Friday and signed by President Trump.
"This is a start, but much more will be necessary," said Richard Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine.
The four GOP lawmakers chalked up the conflict to a "drafting error." That mistake, they contended, would inadvertently incentivize low-wage earners to seek unemployment rather than remain at their current job because they could potentially receive more money through unemployment benefits.
The two provisions are some of Democrats' most important demands for the nearly $2 trillion plan to combat an ecnomic downturn from the ongoing pandemic.
White House and Senate negotiators said they are close to announcing a deal on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus package.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) also plan to co-sponsor the bill, which comes in the wake of allegations that multiple senators profited off the COVID-19 pandemic by selling their stocks after attending closed-door briefings shortly before markets crashed.
Democrats stopped the passage of the nearly $2 trillion bill for the second time within a 24-hour time span Monday over accusations that it seeks to benefit corporations over individuals.
"I want to make sure that not a second is wasted because of physical limitations that we have on convening," Rep. Eric Swalwell said.
Democrats voted against the measure because they contended the measure remained skewed toward corporations.
The $1 trillion economic stimulus is being negotiated by White House officials and congressional leaders from both parties.
In response to the news, some have called for an outright prohibition on stock ownership by members of Congress.
The 247-page proposal was drafted by Senate Republicans in consultation with the White House. Now, both groups will need to work with Senate and House Democrats to strike a deal that can muster enough support to pass Congress and land on the president's desk.
With two members now carrying coronavirus and at least a dozen more potentially infected, lawmakers' calls for Congress to shut down entirely and work remotely have been amplified.
"Even the big moves that we're seeing right now in Congress are not going to be enough," Kevin Hassett told CNN.
Mitch McConnell want to first strike a deal among GOP senators and the White House before bringing Democratic leaders of either chamber into the mix.
"I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better," Rep. Diaz-Balart said Wednesday in a statement.
The Republicans have expressed concern that companies may not be able to afford paid sick leave for their employees despite the tax credits offered by the federal government.