Tuesday's Mini-Report, 3.17.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Stimulus: "As the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. worsens, Congress and the White House are eyeing a third stimulus package to address the economic effects of the pandemic. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has prepared an aid package that he told reporters could amount to at least $1 trillion and presented it to Senate Republicans Tuesday during their weekly closed-door lunch on Capitol Hill."

* On a related note: "Stock markets surged on Tuesday, after the government doubled down on its economic response to the coronavirus outbreak, ramping up financial assistance for affected businesses, and floating a $1 trillion stimulus package that includes putting cash in the hands of Americans."

* EU: "The European Union on Tuesday announced a sweeping 30-day ban on most nonessential travel into the 27-country bloc."

* Beijing: "The Chinese government announced Tuesday that it will revoke press credentials for American journalists who work for the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and whose credentials were set to expire in 2020, retaliating for state media restrictions by the Trump administration."

* War footing: "LVMH is prepping its perfume and cosmetics production sites to manufacture hydroalcoholic gel in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Sunday."

* Quite a step: "The Peace Corps is for the first time in its history halting its operations globally and evacuating all of its volunteers, a drastic step for the small U.S. agency that shows the knock-on effects of the global coronavirus pandemic even in developing countries still untouched by the outbreak."

* DOJ: "The Justice Department moved on Monday to drop charges against two Russian shell companies accused of financing schemes to interfere in the 2016 election, saying that they were exploiting the case to gain access to delicate information that Russia could weaponize."

* Punting on FISA: "Senators passed Monday a 77-day extension of surveillance authorities that lapsed over the weekend. The passage of a bill by voice vote that would revive and extend surveillance powers -- including those under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- until the end of May gives lawmakers breathing room to debate surveillance and privacy issues after the immediate threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided."

* A once-in-a-century SCOTUS development: "The Supreme Court said it is postponing its next round of oral arguments, scheduled to begin Monday, because of concerns about the coronavirus. It is the first time the court has paused its work since 1918, when the Spanish flu epidemic hit Washington."

* David Clarke: "Twitter deleted reckless tweets about coronavirus on Monday that were posted by conservative former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Clarke then claimed he was leaving the social media platform because of its 'conservative speech control.'"

* I haven't heard any rumors about Trump pardoning him, but I suppose one never really knows: "Former U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., was sentenced to 11 months in prison Tuesday for misusing campaign funds. Hunter pleaded guilty in December to a corruption charge after prosecutors said he and his wife 'converted and stole' more than a quarter million dollars in campaign funds for their own use over a period of several years."

See you tomorrow.