- The Washington Times
Friday, March 13, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will vote later Friday on a coronavirus relief package, with or without the support of the White House.

“The American people expect and deserve a coordinated, science-based and whole-of-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe,” Mrs. Pelosi said at the Capitol.

But she didn’t answer a reporter’s question about whether President Trump supports the bill. The president wants a cut in payroll taxes through the end of the year; Democrats haven’t included it in the measure.

Mr. Trump said later that the White House was still negotiating with Democrats, but he wasn’t pleased with the bill.

“We just don’t think they’re giving enough,” the president said. “They’re not doing what’s right for the country. We thought we had something, but all of a sudden they didn’t agree to certain things they had agreed to.”

The package would make coronavirus testing free for everyone who needs it, allow for two weeks of paid sick leave and provide unemployment insurance for furloughed workers.

“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,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has been negotiating nearly round the clock with Mrs. Pelosi on the bill. They spoke eight times on Friday alone.

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