Schumer, Pelosi urge paid sick leave for individuals impacted by coronavirus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are laying down an early marker for any potential economic legislative package as anxiety about the coronavirus has roiled the stock market.

Pelosi and Schumer, in a joint statement, laid out a list of demands that should be included in any economic package, including paid sick leave, bolstering unemployment insurance and “widespread and free” testing for the coronavirus.

“We are hoping to work with the administration on a coordinated, government-wide plan to respond to the coronavirus,” the two Democratic leaders said. “However, President Trump continues to manufacture needless chaos within his administration, and it is hampering the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.”

Pelosi and Schumer, referring to reports about a potential tax package, said they “are demanding that the administration prioritize the health and safety of American workers and their families over corporate interests.”

Among the ideas outlined, two Democratic leaders want paid sick leave for workers impacted by a quarantine or who are caring for children impacted by school closures. They also want patients to be reimbursed for coronavirus-associated costs that are not otherwise covered and to enact anti-price-gouging protections.

“The administration must move more quickly and seriously to address the severe impacts of the coronavirus on the financial security of America’s families,” they added.

The Trump administration is facing questions about how it will protect the economy as fears about a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus within the United States has sent stocks tumbling in recent days.

The Washington Post reported late last week that administration officials were considering deferring taxes for sectors most affected by the outbreak, including the hospitality, cruise, travel and airline industries.

Trump has also floated a payroll tax cut, and urged Congress last week to pass a “middle income” tax cut, adding “if the Democrats would approve it, I would go along with it.”

Meanwhile, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that the administration is considering “targeted” relief to workers and businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

“The story I am trying to tell is a story of timely and targeted microforms of assistance, not gargantuan, across-the-board, throw money at the problem, which has not worked in the past,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House.

Tags Charles Schumer Coronavirus Donald Trump Larry Kudlow Nancy Pelosi
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