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  • Republicans to Oppose Coronavirus Bill with Free Testing, Medical Leave, Food Assistance
  • March 12, 2020

Republicans to Oppose Coronavirus Bill with Free Testing, Medical Leave, Food Assistance

Republicans in Congress, along with the White House, plan to oppose a sweeping economic stimulus bill in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Politico reports: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Republican lawmakers on a conference call Thursday morning that the GOP is going to oppose the Democratic coronavirus bill as currently constructed, according to sources on the call.Democrats will likely to be able to pass the bill in the House, but the Republican opposition is a blow to hopes for bipartisanship, and could be a harbinger for how Senate Republicans and the White House will view the bill.

More from CNN: The sweeping legislation the House plans to vote on Thursday would provide free testing for the novel coronavirus, including for uninsured individuals. It would also provide funding for paid emergency leave for people either diagnosed with coronavirus or people who had to stop working to care for someone affected by the virus. Individuals who are eligible to get benefits could receive two-thirds of their average monthly earnings up to $4,000 for the month in which they have to take off 14 or more days of work. The bill would allow the benefit to be received for up to three months. The proposal would set aside nearly $1 billion for food assistance for those affected by coronavirus, with $500 million being earmarked for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides nutritional assistance to millions of low-income women and their children, in order to provide additional support for women or mothers who are affected by the pandemic. Another $400 million would go to The Emergency Food Assistance Program in order to provide aid to food banks that are being met with a higher demand during the pandemic.

The Los Angeles Times reports: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) paused deliberations on the measure this morning to look over proposals that Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin sent on behalf of the administration. Mnuchin and Pelosi spoke twice Thursday morning to discuss ideas, according to Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hamill. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) signaled his opposition to the Democratic proposal, suggesting bipartisan agreement was not close. White House officials would not specify what changes the administration is asking for. “The White House does not support much of what the speaker has proposed as currently drafted, but we do support many of the policies reflected in her draft, and are asking that they continue to work with us to find a bipartisan, bicameral agreement,” said a White House official who was not authorized to comment by name.

The post Republicans to Oppose Coronavirus Bill with Free Testing, Medical Leave, Food Assistance appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.

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