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Congress toils on $1 trillion rescue

WASHINGTON — As leaders from Congress and the White House toiled in high-stakes negotiations on a mammoth $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package Friday, President Donald Trump unleashed fury on those questioning his handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

It was an extraordinary moment in Washington: Congress undertaking the most ambitious federal effort yet to shore up households and the U.S. economy and an angry president lashing out at all comers. All while the global pandemic and its nationwide shutdown grip an anxious, isolated population bracing for a healthcare crisis and looming recession.

When one reporter asked Trump what he would tell a worried nation, the president snapped, “I say that you’re a terrible reporter.”

Despite the enormous pressure on Washington to swiftly act, the challenges are apparent. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers and administration officials labored late into the evening over eye-popping sums and striking federal interventions, surpassing even the 2008-09 bank bailout and stimulus. They’ll be back at it Saturday morning.

“Everybody is working very hard,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, exiting one closed-door session and heading into another.

While key negotiators said they made progress during the daylong talks, they failed to hit an end-of-day deadline to strike a deal. Talks broke around 10:30 p.m.

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