Friday, March 13, 2020

President Trump Hits Democrats’ Coronavirus Bill as Stuffed With Unrelated ‘Goodies’

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he doesn’t support House Democrats’ coronavirus bill in its current form because it includes too many “goodies” that have nothing to do with the disease.
While the bill addresses providing testing and masks to respond to the coronavirus, it also expands unemployment insurance and food stamps, requires the Social Security Administration to provide paid sick leave, and mandates that employers give paid permanent sick leave to their employees.
A reporter asked Trump at the White House if he supports the legislation.
“No, because there are things in there that have nothing to do with things we are talking about,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office as he sat with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadker.
“It’s not a way for them to get some of the goodies that they haven’t been able to get for the last 25 years,” the president said of House Democrats.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 36 deaths in the U.S. from the new coronavirus disease, called COVID-19, with a total of 1,215 diagnosed cases across 42 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Wednesday Trump delivered prime-time address to the nation, in which he announced a ban on travel to the U.S. from most European countries and proposed a payroll tax cut and assistance for industries hit hard by the virus.
The president previously restricted travel from China, where the virus originated.
“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is focused directly on providing support for America’s families, who must be our first priority in this emergency,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a public statement.
The spread of the coronavirus has prompted calls for more government action. The Democrats’ bill includes free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave for up to 14 days, and more protections for health care workers who might come in contact with infected people.
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