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Pelosi, Schumer Balk at Trump's Proposed Coronavirus Relief Efforts

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After the markets took a nosedive, the country’s leaders are grappling with how to address the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump revealed on Monday a series of proposals aimed at softening the economic blow, but Democratic Congressional leaders signaled that they could be met with resistance.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) appeared to pour cold water on those proposals and shared some of their own ideas.

Schumer said that Trump had proposed ideas that would address the economic pains caused by a slow down, but said the president offered no plans to limit the spread of the virus.

“What was missing from the President’s talk is how he is actually going to deal with the spread of the coronavirus,” Schumer told reporters on Monday. “That’s what’s causing all the economic hardship.”

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“We want to address the costs of the testing and whatever other treatment is needed. If people don’t go for that – go for testing – if they can’t go to get tested and can’t go to get the treatment because they are afraid they can’t afford the bill, this will get worse,” he added. 

Carlos Barria/Reuters

Trump announced during a press conference at the White House that he would push for “major” steps to address the financial pains that come from an economic slowdown.

Those steps include a payroll tax cut and paid sick leave for hourly employees who have to miss work because of the virus.

Meanwhile, members of his administration are reportedly looking at other steps such as loans or subsidies for businesses that are hit hard financially by the virus.

After Trump’s press conference the markets appeared to respond positively, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared more than 700 points shortly after the opening bell on Tuesday.

However, Pelosi and Schumer suggested that Trump should also be looking at expanding food stamps, unemployment insurance, and implementing a paid medical leave policy. 

Additionally, the two leaders said that testing for the coronavirus needs to be ramped up quickly so people can determine if they are infected and seek treatment. 

While Democrats have not put together a bill, Pelosi said that they could introduce a package within a week. 

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“I don’t know that we can be ready this week, but we can introduce this week, we can introduce it, and we may be ready this week,” she said.

Additionally, she said it is possible Congress could cut its upcoming recess short “if there’s a necessity” to pass a relief package, but added, “we want to do it right.”

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