House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Says Democrats, White House Near Agreement On Coronavirus Bill

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats and the White House are nearing an agreement on a set of measures to address the coronavirus crisis, and that further legislation will be in the works.

In a letter to House Democrats, she said that the legislation will include provisions for free coronavirus testing; paid emergency leave, with 14 days of sick leave and three months of paid family and medical leave; enhanced unemployment insurance; waiving work requirements for food assistance programs; and increased federal funds for Medicaid.

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The House is expected to vote on the legislation on Friday.

Pelosi has been in consultation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in negotiations over the package. The Senate adjourned for the weekend, so it would likely vote on the measure next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell canceled a planned Senate recess as coronavirus cases rise, the stock market tanks and the private sector cancels public gatherings.

“Time is of the essence, and this bill must be passed and sent to the Senate,” Pelosi wrote to members. “The House will then 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.”

In the Washington area, the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, Smithsonian museums and Arlington National Cemetery have announced that they are closing to visitors.

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