President Donald Trump late Friday signaled his support for an emergency coronavirus stimulus package to help those financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the House reached a deal over the bill.
“I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act, which will be voted on in the House this evening. This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers,” Trump wrote in a statement on Twitter.
“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,” Trump added. “I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES! I will always put the health and well-being of American families FIRST. Look forward to signing the final Bill ASAP!”
Earlier, Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democrat colleagues that an agreement was reached between the House and the Trump administration.
“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.
“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 would also include free testing for the disease COVID-19 for those who need a test, including the uninsured.
The House will vote on the deal soon, and the Senate is set to return Monday to vote.
“As the Senate works to pass this bill, the House will begin work on a third emergency response package to protect the health, economic security and well-being of the American people,” Pelosi added in her letter.
“We will do so in continued consultation with scientists, researchers, health care professionals, public health officials, and community leaders so that we can craft the most effective, evidence-based response.”
Earlier on Friday, Trump 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.