Pelosi Says House, Trump Admin Reach Deal on Coronavirus Bill

March 13, 2020 Updated: March 14, 2020
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late Friday said that House Democrats had reached a deal with the Trump administration on an emergency stimulus package to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

“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,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democrat colleagues.

“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.”

The bill would provide financial assistance to those impacted by the crisis, including enhanced unemployment benefits, two weeks of sick pay for employees and increased family leave, nutrition assistance, and financial aid for states for Medicaid.

The deal on the second round of emergency coronavirus relief would also include free testing for the disease COVID-19 for those who need a test, including the uninsured.

There have been back and forth negotiations over the past week between the House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The House will vote on the deal soon and the Senate is set to return Monday to vote. Pelosi said the House would begin work on a third emergency package after passing this one.

Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The declaration means that up to $50 billion in disaster relief funds can be provided to state and local governments to respond to the viral outbreak.

Trump also announced a range of executive actions, including a new public-private partnership to expand coronavirus testing capabilities with drive-through locations.

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

Last week, Trump signed an emergency $8.3 billion spending bill for emergency COVID-19 coronavirus funding, which includes funding to developing a vaccine and other prevention measures.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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