Mitch McConnell

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

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."

Updated at 7:39 p.m. ET

The future of a coronavirus aid package that's likely to top $1 trillion is in limbo following the failure of a necessary procedural vote in the Senate.

The measure, which required 60 votes to pass, garnered just 47 votes on Sunday evening, with Democrats refusing to back the Republican-led plan. Democrats are calling for changes to the legislation, including further expansion of unemployment insurance and more restrictions on federal assistance provided to large corporations.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

Three domestic surveillance tools used by the FBI in counterterrorism investigations look all but certain to lapse--at least temporarily--after the Senate failed to vote to renew them before they expire this weekend.

The authorities, which the intelligence community says are critical to national security, are set to lapse on Sunday without action by Congress. The Senate adjourned on Thursday evening until Monday without resolving the matter, signaling that the surveillance tools will likely expire.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned the top Senate Democrat for comments he made on the steps of the Supreme Court on Wednesday calling out Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

Appearing before a crowd of abortion-rights demonstrators, Schumer, D-N.Y., referred to the court's two Trump appointees, saying: "You have unleashed the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."

Updated 11:28 p.m. ET

Sen. Lamar Alexander said on Thursday night that he will not vote to allow witnesses and evidence into the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The Senate on Wednesday night concluded the first of two days full of questions in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The proceeding offered clues about the thinking of senators, but the session consisted mostly of trial lawyers on both sides magnifying arguments they have already delivered.

There were, however, controversial moments in which Trump's counsel took positions Democrats decried as radical or even unlawful.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

Updated Jan. 21 at 2:26 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made last-minute, handwritten changes Tuesday to the parameters for how President Trump's impeachment trial process will play out. Departing from a draft resolution he released Monday night, the resolution now allows impeachment managers and the president's defense to have 24 hours to make arguments over three session days. The draft had stipulated 24 hours over two days. McConnell also altered the rules for admitting the House evidence into the record.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she expects to release her hold on the two articles of impeachment against President Trump "soon," but for now, she is still holding out to learn more about how Republicans plan to conduct a Senate trial.

"No, I'm not holding them indefinitely," Pelosi told reporters Thursday at a weekly press conference. "I'll send them over when I'm ready. That will probably be soon."

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he has the votes to establish rules for the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump without support from Democrats.

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