Single GOP Congressman Stops Coronavirus Relief Bill From Moving to Senate

Andrew Cummings
March 17, 2020

Although Trump had publicly backed the legislation and urged Congress to quickly pass it, the exemptions in the sick leave provision have drawn criticism from some Republicans, as well as labor groups.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters he worked with the president on the economic package.

"We are hearing feedback that certain small businesses are concerned about the burden of this. And I mean now, in the next two weeks". While the Senate is in Washington this week, the House is on a scheduled week-long break.

The request comes as a number of lawmakers call for a quick solution for some of the country's increasingly dire economic concerns.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate had not yet received a final draft of the legislation. Donald Trump endorsed the bill, which passed the House just after midnight on Saturday morning.

The benefits in the bill include free coronavirus testing, expanded family and medical leave for some, paid emergency sick leave for some, unemployment benefits, food assistance, and protections for health care workers, according to NBC News.

McConnell also committed to the Senate remaining in session to pass broader relief.

"We have members of the Senate going in and out of quarantine!"

"The White House and congressional Republicans, who insisted on the exemptions as the price of bipartisan support for the legislation, bear the primary responsibility for the indefensible decision to prioritize corporate profits in the midst of a public health emergency", the NYT editorial board wrote. The next steps entail providing financial aid to individuals, shoring up small businesses and protecting the health care system.

Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.), who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Monday pushed for an amendment that would put an end to web browser surveillance and one that would establish independent oversight of the FISA process.

The price tag eclipses the first emergency coronavirus aid bill of roughly $8 billion approved earlier this month to address response efforts. For another, there was a glitch in the House bill, which needed to be resolved before the legislation could advance. "We should do our work and do it quickly".

"The plan Leader McConnell laid out will slow things down in a significant and dramatic way", Schumer said. "Importantly, this proposal will ensure that our medical professionals have the resources - including physical space and equipment - they need to provide treatment and keep Americans safe". The outbreak has killed more than 7,500 people worldwide, caused massive disruptions to daily life across the country and hammered the US stock market that Trump has long touted as a barometer of his administration's performance. For example, Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney says the government should immediately issue $1,000 to every American so families can manage short-term obligations.

But Romney noted the Senate needs to approve the second aid package first.

"Discussions are already underway on these key pillars", he said. Married couples making less than $200,000 per year would be eligible for a $2,000 rebate.

The House over the weekend passed a second measure that would require paid sick leave for some workers and expand unemployment compensation, among other steps, including almost $1 billion in additional money to help feed children, homebound senior citizens and others.

The House, meanwhile, remains on a planned recess this week, which could be extended.

Other reports by iNewsToday