Politics

House Passes Coronavirus Legislation After Trump Signals Support

The House of Representatives passed a coronavirus emergency stimulus package in a bipartisan vote after midnight on Friday.

The House passed the bill 363-40 and it now heads to the Senate, which could vote on it as early as Monday.

If it passes, the bill (pdf) will provide financial assistance to those impacted by the crisis, including two weeks of sick pay for workers. Employees will also be able to take up to three months of unpaid leave if they are quarantined or need to care for sick family members. Meanwhile, businesses will get a tax credit to help cover the expense.

The legislation also authorizes free COVID-19 testing for those who need a test, including uninsured people.

The bill also includes enhanced unemployment benefits, improved food security initiatives, and federal Medicaid funding to states.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late Friday said in a letter to Democrat colleagues that a bipartisan agreement had been reached between House Democrats and the Trump administration.

“This legislation is about testing, testing, testing,” she wrote. “To stop the spread of the virus, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We cannot fight coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested can get their test free of charge.”

Trump later on Friday announced his support for the legislation, writing on Twitter that he fully supported the bill, and encouraged bipartisan support.

“This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers. I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that will provide flexibility so that in no way will Small Businesses be hurt … I will always put the health and well-being of American families FIRST. Look forward to signing the final Bill ASAP!”

Pelosi said the House would begin work next week on a third emergency response package “to protect the health, economic security, and well-being of the American people.” House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trumps proposed payroll tax cut could factor in those negotiations.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump, flanked by officials and business leaders, announces a national emergency with regard to the coronavirus in the White House Rose Garden in Washington on March 13, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Earlier on Friday, the president declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, which means that up to $50 billion in disaster relief funds can be provided to state and local governments to respond to the viral outbreak.

“We will overcome the threat of the virus,” Trump said.

Last week, Congress passed an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus spending package (Read More – Source
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The Epoch Times

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