Speaker Nancy Pelosi says deal reached with Trump administration on emergency aid package for coronavirus
WASHINGTON - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi held a news conference Friday to outline the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
House Democrats are expected to push the bill through Friday that focuses on help for the American family.
"The three most important parts of this bill are testing, testing, testing," said Pelosi.
"This legislation facilitates free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We can only defeat this outbreak if we have an accurate determination of its scale and scope so that we can pursue the precise science based response that is necessary."
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One major hang-up between Democrats and Republicans was reportedly the paid family and medical leave provision, with Republicans pushing to structure it in a way that it could be implemented quickly and avoid undue burdens on employers.
By Friday morning that issue had appeared largely resolved with the administration, but there seemed to be lingering concerns among House Republicans.
The coronavirus aid package will also give USDA authority to allow states to provide emergency food stamp assistance to families whose children could miss out on free or reduced-price meals if schools are closed.
Under the current proposal, the child’s school must be closed for no less than five consecutive days for families to be eligible.
Pelosi's comments comes less than an hour from President Donald Trump expected further response to coronavirus.
Worldwide, 137,000 people have been infected and more than 5,000 have died, but half of those who had the virus have already recovered.
Most patients have mild or moderate symptoms such as a fever or cold, but severe symptoms including pneumonia can occur, especially in the elderly and people with existing health problems.