US House Passes Bill To Provide Coronavirus Assistance For Individuals, Families

It includes free testing for COVID-19.


Washington DC (KM). In the early morning hours of Saturday,  the US House of Representatives passed legislation to provide assistance to Americans who suffered emotionally, financially and physically from the coronavirus outbreak..,

“It’s going to give everybody in the country 14 days paid sick leave,” says Representative David Trone (D) from Maryland’s 6th District. “Because we need folks that are sick {to} go home, isolate, get well; not come to work and spread the disease.”

Other provisions in this bill would provide free testing for the coronavirus, and a boost to unemployment insurance. “That’s becoming a bigger and bigger issue. We just had a 1,000 people laid off at the National Harbor Complex because of all the various conventions have been canceled. So we’re going to see more and more of these types of layoffs,” he says.

And there’s also additional funding for food programs for the elderly and children. “These are groups that were going to get food in schools that may in deed be canceled,” he said. “And we can’t get them the food as easily as they could before. So we’ve got to provide more backup for this.”

Last week, Maryland’s Superintendent of Schools announced that all public schools in the state will  be closed for two weeks. Frederick County Public Schools will be providing free breakfast and lunch to any child 16 and under during the closure.

The US Senate is expected to take up the bill this week, and the President has indicated he will sign it.

This legislation was crafted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Congressman Trone says the next thing for legislators to do is craft  a bill to aid businesses which have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. “We’ve seen all the sporting events canceled; conventions canceled; all major meetings canceled. So the hospitality industry, the tourism industry: they’re going to be decimated,” he said.


By Kevin McManus