House Democrats expected to unveil coronavirus package Wednesday

House Democrats expected to unveil coronavirus package Wednesday
© Bonnie Cash

House Democrats are expected to unveil a package Wednesday afternoon ahead of a planned vote this week to help boost the economy hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Bipartisan discussions are still ongoing between Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi Sunday shows preview: Leaders weigh in as country erupts in protest over George Floyd death 5 things to know about US-China tensions over Hong Kong Pelosi calls Trump's decision to withdraw US from WHO 'an act of extraordinary senselessness' MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program Schumer slams Trump's Rose Garden briefing on China as 'pathetic' MORE, who spoke Wednesday morning after meeting in the Capitol less than 24 hours earlier. But Democrats are still planning to move their own proposals to help mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus, which has now topped 1,000 cases in the U.S.

A vote is expected Thursday, according to House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in House scheduled to return for votes in late June House pushes back schedule to pass spending bills MORE (D-Md.).

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The text is still being finalized, but Democrats are pushing for a national paid sick leave policy, bolstering unemployment insurance, guaranteeing free access to coronavirus testing and ensuring food assistance for students who rely on free or reduced lunch at public schools.

House Democrats are expected to meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the package.

"We're going to move forward this week by making sure that we help out families, and the middle-class folks and senior citizens and the most vulnerable amongst us," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesGun control group rolls out House endorsements Pelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' Tara Reade's attorney asks Biden to authorize search of his Senate papers MORE (D-N.Y.).

Jeffries said that the meeting at 4 p.m. would be an opportunity to "get input from the members of the Democratic Caucus."

The House is scheduled to depart Thursday and go on recess next week. Lawmakers are eager to get out of Washington and return to their districts as they work to protect themselves and their constituents from the coronavirus.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points MORE is pushing for a payroll tax cut as well as some form of paid sick leave for hourly wage workers.

About a quarter of American workers lack access to paid sick leave, which has raised concerns that they could contribute to spreading the coronavirus if they are unable to follow public health officials' guidelines to stay home if they feel ill.

But Democrats, as well as some Republicans, have been reluctant to back the payroll tax-cut proposal.

The House is scheduled to depart Thursday and go on recess next week. Lawmakers are eager to get out of Washington and return to their districts as they work to protect themselves and their constituents from the coronavirus.

Seven members of Congress are currently self-quarantining after being exposed to people with the coronavirus, including Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP deeply divided over Trump's social media crackdown Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged Iranian sanction violations MORE (R-Texas) and Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyHouse Democrats eyeing much broader Phase 3 stimulus Assistant House Speaker self-quarantines out of 'abundance of caution' Actor Orlando Bloom to self-quarantine MORE (D-Calif.), Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump to return to Florida for rescheduled SpaceX launch Pence names new press secretary House leaders take vote-counting operations online MORE (R-N.C.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarConservative lawmakers press Trump to suspend guest worker programs for a year Impeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook's new oversight board Cruz rebukes San Antonio City Council for denouncing 'Chinese virus' as hate speech MORE (R-Ariz.), Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGOP women's group rolls out endorsements ahead of contested races Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama MORE (R-Ga.) and Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections Trump to order review of law protecting social media firms after Twitter spat: report On The Money: US tops 100,000 coronavirus deaths with no end in sight | How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response | Tenants fear mass evictions MORE (R-Fla.). All of the Republicans are doing so after attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, which had an attendee who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Congressional leaders have dismissed the idea of closing the Capitol amid school and workplace closures across the country to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Senate is also slated to adjourn on Thursday, meaning that Congress is unlikely to send an economic stimulus package to Trump's desk before departing for recess. Trump previously signed a $8.3 billion emergency funding package last week to boost federal, state and local agencies' efforts to combat the coronavirus.

—Updated at 12:08 p.m.