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House Set For Friday Vote On Wuhan Coronavirus Spending Package

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The House is expected to vote on an aid package in response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak after a deal was struck with congressional Republicans and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, according to National Review.

The package will include guaranteed free testing and 14 days of paid sick-leave for patients, along with food assistance and Medicaid programs, unemployment benefits, and tax credits for small and medium-sized businesses affected by COVID-19.

Republicans initially were skeptical of the legislation due to provisions they feared would permanently increase paid leave entitlements, while Democrats did not want to include language explicitly prohibiting funding for abortions in the bill.

We’ve resolved most of our differences, and [for] those we haven’t we’ll continue the conversation, because there will obviously be other bills,” Pelosi told reporters on Thursday. -National Review

“It’s fair to say we’re close to an agreement, subject to the exchange of paper, and hope to have an agreement tomorrow,” said Pelosi, adding in a letter to lawmakers that the bill “will take further effective action that protects the health, economic security and well-being of the American people.”

Pelosi also wrote that this won’t be the last coronavirus aid package – and that Congress would “get to work on a third emergency response package that will take further effective action that protects the health, economic security and well-being of the American people.”

NR also reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday announced that the Senate would skip recess this coming week in order to tackle coronavirus legislation.

“I am glad talks are ongoing between the Administration and Speaker Pelosi,” McConnell tweeted. “I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong.”

Notwithstanding the scheduled state work period, the Senate will be in session next week. I am glad talks are ongoing between the Administration and Speaker Pelosi. I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong.

— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 12, 2020

That said, there may be some friction between the Democratic-controlled House’s solution and the GOP-controlled Senate’s.

Fortunately, we do not need to choose between Speaker Pelosi’s first draft and doing nothing. I am glad the Administration is continuing talks. The Senate is ready to consider a bipartisan, bicameral package if House Democrats return to the table & work with the President’s team.

— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 12, 2020


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