- Title: U.S. House to vote on coronavirus aid after Trump, Democrats reach deal
- Date: 14th March 2020
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (MARCH 13, 2020) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI WALKING UP TO LECTERN (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER, NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "Good evening everyone, thank you for being around this flower of the night, I am very proud of the success that we have had, the work of our committee chairs and their staff to put together this legislation." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER, NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "Today, since this morning really, we learned of the forty second death from the virus in our country. This is, we have to deal with this carefully and sadly but forcefully and that was really what was part of our incentive to make sure that we could assure the public that we were willing to work in a bipartisan way, even though we could have gone much sooner, much faster to reassure them about the policy that we were advocating. But we wanted to be the law of the land." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER, NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "So here we are. What we did, what we said we were going to do, put families first with paid sick, sick leave, paid sick days, a family medical leave, unemployment insurance for the children. Over 20 million children get their meals at school, they have food insecurity and this bill addresses that as well as food for our seniors and others who depend on that and again, feeding, filling food banks as well and we won an important court decision on that today. And then other issues that relate to three things, testing, testing and testing. This is so important and again, between the probation's bill and this legislation, we should see, we've legislated, we should see the executive branch execute this legislation." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER, NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: REPORTER OFF-CAMERA ASKING: "Did you speak to the president at all? PELOSI: "No, no." REPORTER OFF-CAMERA ASKING: "Why not?" PELOSI: "Why not?" REPORTER OFF-CAMERA ASKING: "He is the one who sign's this into law?" PELOSI: "Well, there is no need for that. We had our bill, which is basically intact, what we are passing without, we would like to have had the (inaudible) rule and there's some things that they wanted that we have to put off until the next time, because just they came in late, you know. When we're doing these things, you want to say, OK, at a certain place, no moving the goalpost but then it happens and for us, we move the goalpost, itâ€™s like moving an ocean liner. You have to go to the ledge counsel, CBO, you have to do all these things. It's not an easy thing to change a word or so. So, some of it just took, would take more time and we thought it was important to have a bill that would go there. So, what I was told, Mitch McConnell and I spoke, he said Steve Mnuchin carries the ball, so I negotiated with him and he communicated what we were doing to others, by and large then he had his own communication with the Republicans in the House, if I may say. So we're talking about specific proposals that are based on legislation and precedent and operate the agencies of governments traditions and so we had to speak shorthand to each other about these things. So it was better to go that route." WHITE FLASH PELOSI AND DELEGATION WALKING AWAY
- Embargoed: 28th March 2020 04:19
- Keywords: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi House of Representatives U.S. President Donald Trump coronavirus aid package
- Location: WASHINGTON.D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON.D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001C50WQ4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives prepared to pass a coronavirus aid package on Friday (March 13) that would provide free testing and paid sick leave for workers, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would support the multi-billion dollar legislation.
The bill marks the first effort by Congress to limit the economic fallout from a pandemic that has infected 138,000 people worldwide, killed more than 5,000 and shuttered schools, sports arenas, theatres and offices.
It comes after extensive negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump's point person on the issue. Mnuchin has pressed for tax cuts, while Pelosi had pushed to expand safety-net spending.
Earlier in the day, Trump accused Democrats of "not doing what's right for the country." His support for the deal, announced on Twitter, raises the likelihood that Democrats and Republicans will vote for passage -- and that the Republican-controlled Senate will pass it next week.
Pelosi and Trump have a frosty relationship, and the two did not speak directly. "There was no need for that," she said.
The bill would provide two weeks of paid sick and family leave for those affected by the virus, according to a summary released by Pelosi's office. Democrats had initially sought to create a permanent paid sick-leave benefit for the third of U.S. workers who currently lose wages when they stay home due to illness, but Republicans said that was a deal breaker.
It would expand safety-net programs that help people weather economic downturns, including low-income schoolchildren who risk losing access to free breakfast and lunch if their schools are shuttered. It would bolster unemployment aid and the "food stamps" program that helps 34 million low-income people buy groceries. Federal support for Medicaid would also be increased, giving states a cushion to fund the low-income health insurance program that Trump has repeatedly tried to scale back.
Pelosi does not need Republican votes to pass the bill out of the House, but it would probably not get far in the Republican-controlled Senate without bipartisan support. The two sides have struggled to find common ground after quickly passing an $8.3 billion bill last week to pay for vaccine research and other disease-fighting measures.
Trump declared a national emergency on Friday, freeing up $50 billion in federal aid.
(Production: Njuwa Maina)
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