Congress Working to Finalize Coronavirus Aid Package

Date: March 17, 2020

Early Saturday morning, the House of Representatives passed a medical and family focused aid package in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The bill will provide funding for free testing for the virus, paid family and sick leave, domestic food assistance programs, and unemployment insurance. The legislation was passed in a 363-40 bipartisan vote with final changes being made to the bill in the House late Monday afternoon. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation later this week, but timing is uncertain.

“We are proud to have reached an agreement with the Administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on March 13 after speaking with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the phone.

President Donald Trump stated on March 13 that he fully supported the bill.

"I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will be voted on in the House this evening," Trump tweeted. "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 encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES!"

The Senate is expected to pass this measure this week. President Trump will sign it. After this occurs, congressional leadership has indicated they are working on a third economic recovery package.

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