The progressive wing of the Democratic Party couldn't break through in the presidential race, but in congressional races, younger, more diverse, progressive candidates are enjoying a recent surge in support.
"The logic of COVID-19 as well as the logic and the righteousness of the movement for Black lives, I think, is forcing all of us to re-imagine both what is necessary and what is possible, and I think it's having an impact on our politics," said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, a New York-based minor political party.
A familiar tale is unfolding in American politics in 2020: Women are once again setting records as candidates for Congress. While the 2018 midterms saw a historic wave of Democratic candidates and general election winners, this time the surge in candidates is among Republican women running for the House.
In the wake of national protests following the death of George Floyd, House and Senate Democrats unveiled legislation on Monday that would bring about wide-ranging reforms to police departments across the country.
The Democratic proposal, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, has more than 200 sponsors and marks one of the most comprehensive efforts in modern times to overhaul the way police do their jobs.
Senate Republicans have launched politically loaded investigations into the Obama administration and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that are expected to carry on into the fall.
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins the first of a planned series of hearings on the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia investigation into possible ties with the Trump campaign. Republicans are particularly interested in the decision-making inside the Obama-Biden administration.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to subpoena documents and depositions from Blue Star Strategies, a consulting company that worked with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma when Hunter Biden served on its board.
"We need to get to the truth about the Bidens' relationship with Burisma, and these hearings will provide the Senate with the full picture," Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said.
A coalition of Democratic committees representing governors, attorneys general, senators and members of Congress released a strategy memo Tuesday outlining that their collective strategy for the 2020 elections is to focus on health care.
House lawmakers on Friday approved a Democratic proposal to provide $3 trillion in coronavirus relief that would include a new wave of help for state and local governments, workers and families.
The House voted 208 to 199 — largely along party lines — to pass the measure. The size of the bill represents the biggest ever proposed and it includes another round of direct cash payments to Americans, extends unemployment benefits to the end of January, and adds hazard pay for front-line workers. It also expands virus-testing efforts, contact tracing and treatment.
House Democrats are moving full steam ahead with legislation to provide a new wave of coronavirus relief at a price tag of more than $3 trillion, with plans to call the full House back on Friday to approve it.
The first competitive congressional race of the coronavirus era takes place Tuesday in Southern California, where Republican Mike Garcia and Democrat Christy Smith are vying to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned last year because of a personal scandal.
The winner will serve out Hill's current term through November, when the same two candidates will be on the ballot again for a full two-year term.
President Trump on Friday signed Congress' latest coronavirus economic relief package, which includes additional aid to small businesses and hospitals.
The measure passed overwhelmingly in the House on Thursday — 388-5, with one lawmaker voting present.
The five lawmakers who voted against the package included one Democrat — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — and four Republicans — Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jody Hice of Georgia, Ken Buck of Colorado and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
The coronavirus pandemic and related economic tailspin is expected to be the top issue that will determine how Americans vote this November, according to top party strategists working on 2020 races.
"We all know that both the health crisis of coronavirus and the economic impact that's followed will likely be the most dominant issue, perhaps the only issue, that voters will be thinking about when deciding who to support in the fall elections," Steven Law told NPR. Law runs the Senate Leadership Fund, the top Republican super PAC aligned with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats will push to include a new hazard pay program for frontline workers in the coronavirus pandemic in the next legislative vehicle that passes Congress in response to the crisis.
"We are asking these workers to take great risks and we should reward them for it," Schumer told reporters Tuesday on a conference call.
The Democratic proposal has two main components: up to a $25,000 pay increase for essential workers, and a one-time $15,000 incentive to help recruit new health care workers during the pandemic.
Multiple U.S. senators are sounding the alarm about the solvency of a recently enacted $350 billion emergency lending program for small businesses, calling for Congress to pass another wave of funding as soon as this week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he will work with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to get the Senate to approve, without objection, another influx of cash on Thursday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aggressively advocating for a second wave of legislation on top of the recently enacted $2 trillion rescue package to confront the coronavirus pandemic, but her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is advocating for a more cautious wait-and-see approach.
President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.
In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.
The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."
A Senate agreement on a third wave of emergency funding to address the coronavirus could be "hours" away, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday, as Republicans and Democrats seemed close to bridging disagreements that have stalled a deal on the approximately $2 trillion package.
After a tense day on the Senate floor that included leaders trading barbs over who is to blame for failing to advance a new coronavirus response bill, the top Senate Democrat said late Monday night that he was "very, very close" to an agreement with the White House on a deal for a third wave of emergency funding that could go well past $1 trillion.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced legislation on Thursday to address the economic impact of the coronavirus. This is the third legislative package to deal with the outbreak.
The proposal was drafted by Senate Republicans and the Trump administration. The bill still needs to be negotiated with Senate Democrats, which McConnell said would happen Friday. Already some Democrats were criticizing the plan as too focused on help for corporations and were calling for major changes.
The Trump administration is asking Congress for roughly $1 trillion in new economic relief as lawmakers begin work on the next phase of coronavirus relief efforts.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he worked with the president on the economic package. Their discussions included payments to small businesses, loan guarantees for industries like airlines and hotels, and a stimulus package for workers.
The Senate reconvened Monday afternoon with a growing sense of urgency to act on pending legislation, and a growing realization that Congress will have to take dramatic, ongoing action to blunt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to the nation.
"The Senate is committed to meeting these uncertain times with bold and bipartisan solutions," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the floor Monday. "It's what we're going to keep doing in the days and weeks ahead."
In front of the cameras Tuesday night, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg sounded upbeat.
"No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one thought was possible," he told cheering supporters gathered at the convention center in West Palm Beach, Fla. "In just three months, we've gone from 1% in the polls to being a contender for the Democratic nomination for president."
Behind the scenes, his campaign is assessing how much longer he will stay in the race after he failed to win any of the 14 Super Tuesday states.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn offered an emotional presidential endorsement of Joe Biden on Wednesday, just three days ahead of South Carolina's Democratic primary — a contest that could be make-or-break for the former vice president's campaign.
"I've known for a long time who I was going to vote for. I'm voting for Joe Biden. South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden," Clyburn said at an event in North Charleston.