President Donald Trump signed into law a coronavirus emergency relief package that provides free coronavirus testing and financial incentives for Americans impacted by the outbreak.
The Senate approved the House-passed bill on Wednesday. The move expedited the efforts of the upper chamber making the next phase of the coronavirus relief package a top priority.
The latest multibillion-dollar package includes paid leave for some workers, enhanced unemployment benefits, and food assistance, as reported on IJR.
“The [Families First Coronavirus Response Act] makes emergency supplemental appropriations and other changes to law to help the Nation respond to the coronavirus outbreak,” Trump said.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the bipartisan bill, they have acknowledged how imperative it is to assist Americans during this critical time.
Following the initial House vote and Trump’s endorsement of the legislation on Friday, technical corrections were made to the legislation and approved on Monday evening. The legislation was negotiated between the Trump administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
On Wednesday, the Senate passed the bipartisan bill with a 90-8 vote before it was sent to Trump for his signature.
To focus on social distancing, McConnell announced the precautions that were taken for voting.
“What we’ll do is have a 30-minute roll call vote. We want to avoid congregating here in the well. I would encourage our colleagues to come in and vote and depart the chamber so we don’t have gaggles of conversation here on the floor. That’s particularly important for our staff here and the front of the chamber, so I would encourage everyone to take full advantage of a full 30-minute roll call vote. Come in and vote, and leave.”
The signed Families First Coronavirus Response Act comes as the Trump administration and Senate Republicans negotiate a “phase three” relief package — an economic stimulus package for small businesses, workers, and business sectors.
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