House approves retooled coronavirus bill; Senate to consider it Tuesday

House approves retooled coronavirus bill; Senate to consider it Tuesday

House lawmakers approved a revamped multibillion-dollar coronavirus relief package Monday that was initially passed over the early morning hours of the weekend after negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration.

Lawmakers OK’d the measure containing technical corrections via unanimous consent. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation Tuesday.

Senators will have to approve both plans to avoid sending the fixed bill back to the House.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, expressed reservations about the legislation and initially threatened to block it over what he said were harmful impacts to small businesses. In the end, he didn’t object.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will meet with Senate Republicans for lunch Tuesday afternoon to discuss the next steps.

The bill initially passed 363-40 in the early hours on Saturday. It includes paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. The legislation came after Republicans raised concerns over its impact on small businesses, increased spending on Medicaid and language not included that prevents federal funds from being used for abortions.

In an effort to get skeptical House GOP members on board, President Trump threw his support toward the package after some language was changed.

Trump is also calling for a payroll tax holiday to give economic relief to Americans. That provision was not included in the bill.

Hours before the first version of the bill passed, Trump declared a national emergency over the pandemic and announced partnerships with several companies to expand coronavirus testing.


“This legislation is about testing, testing, testing,” Pelosi said over the weekend. “To stop the spread of the virus, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We cannot fight coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested can get their test free of charge.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report. 

Chad Pergram currently serves as a congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in September 2007 and is based out of Washington, D.C.

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