Pelosi Says House Will Pass Coronavirus Relief Bill To Make Tests Free: "Testing, Testing, Testing" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Pelosi Says House Will Pass Coronavirus Relief Bill To Make Tests Free: "Testing, Testing, Testing"

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that a large coronavirus relief bill, the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act," is set to pass the House Friday evening but offered no comment on whether the Republicans in the Senate had made a deal with her to pass it. Pelosi said her plan includes free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured, two weeks of paid sick leave, and increased unemployment benefits.

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Over the last several weeks, our nation has been faced with a grave and accelerating challenge, one that tests our compassion, ingenuity, and resolve, the coronavirus crisis. Sadly and prayerfully, we have learned of the tragic deaths of at least 41 Americans from this public health emergency so far.

The American people expect and deserve a coordinated, science-based, and whole of government response to keep them and their loved ones safe, a response that puts families first to stimulate the economy. To put families first last week, the House passed a strong bipartisan $8.3 billion emergency funding package of entirely new funds. We made a well-funded, evidence-based investment in public health in developing treatments and a vaccine available to all and prevention preparedness and response measures in helping state, local, tribal and territorial hospitals and health systems and in supporting impacted small businesses with SBA loans and helping families by extending telemedicine services no matter where they live.

Democrats' swift action to pass this emergency funding was essential to our nation's long overdue response. Next, Senate Democratic leader Schumer and I last weekend called for further action to put families first. Today we are passing a bill that does just that, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which is focused directly on providing support for America's families who must be our first priority. The three most important parts of this bill are testing, testing, testing. This legislation facilitates free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We can only defeat this outbreak if we have an accurate determination of its scale and scope so that we can pursue the precise science-based response that is necessary.

To put families first our legislation secures paid leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and family medical leave for those affected by the virus. And for those who lose their jobs we are strengthening unemployment insurance, a critical step to protect workers' economic security. Putting family first our legislation protects our children and particularly the tens of millions of little children who rely on the free or reduced-price lunch they receive at school for their food security. As schools are being closed these children will be deprived of their meals. Our bill takes aggressive action to strengthen food security initiatives, including student meals as well as SNAP, seniors meals, and food banks.

As we develop our next steps, we will continue to listen to and benefit from the expertise of scientists, healthcare professionals, public health officials, and community leaders so that we can craft the most effective evidence-based response. Our nation, our great nation, has faced crises before and every time thanks to the courage and optimism, patriotism, and perseverance of the American people we have prevailed. Now working together, we will once again prevail, and we will come out stronger than before. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you.



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