House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t mince words when she addressed the nation at 2 PM Friday about the emergency relief package she has been negotiating with the White House to address the coronavirus crisis. The three most important parts of the bill, Pelosi said, were “testing, testing, and testing”—a clear response to the Trump administration’s abject failure to both distribute and process tests nationwide.
Pelosi promised a vote on relief package Friday, but whether the bill gets the backing of the White House and GOP lawmakers remains to be seen. Pelosi has been on the phone almost nonstop for the past 24- 48 hours with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin trying to broker a deal, but Donald Trump has been hyper focused on extending a costly payroll tax cut that is largely opposed by both Democrats and Republicans.
Here are the main provisions included in the House bill according to MSNBC:
- paid leave benefits
- free coronavirus testing
- expanded unemployment insurance (for people who lose jobs due to absentee)
- increased flexibility for child nutrition and food stamp funding
- a temporary waive of Trump administration work requirements for food stamps
- federal assistance to states and U.S. territories to help meet Medicaid demands
Throughout her remarks, Pelosi stressed the need for a response informed by science, using the term “evidence-based” several times.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer released this statement on the vote earlier Friday.
NEW … from @LeaderHoyer
No vote prior to 230 .. vote no matter what today. pic.twitter.com/FMrvvQjEGo
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 13, 2020