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There are signs that President-elect Joe Biden is concerned about the upcoming trial and its impact on his first 100 days in office. | Carolyn Kaster:AP Photo
There are signs that President-elect Joe Biden is concerned about the upcoming trial and its impact on his first 100 days in office. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

The president-elect laid out a $1.9 trillion emergency package that he described as a first step to economic recovery. It includes $1,400 direct payments to Americans and funding for a national vaccine program. “It’s not hard to see that we are in the middle of a once-in-several generations economic crisis, with a once-in-several generations public health crisis. A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight,” Biden said. NPR

The Senate is facing a challenging set of priorities: Members will have to balance coronavirus aid negotiations with Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial. “I’m all for accountability. But I want to make sure that we prioritize our business in a way that gets the Cabinet set and Covid relief legislation moving fast,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in an interview, adding: “Especially after the events of the last week, it’s so critical that we get a Cabinet into place and we show the peaceful and efficient transition from one Cabinet to the next.” Politico

Applications for unemployment benefits reached their highest in almost five months, reflecting a rise in layoffs during the winter virus surge.
 “We are a long way from maximum employment,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a webcast hosted by Princeton University, his undergraduate alma mater, an indication that the central bank’s easy-money policies will remain in place for the foreseeable future. The Wall Street Journal
 
 
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