Apparently, Donald Trump has “serious concerns” about the Democratically-led House bill to support people during coronavirus (COVID-19), according to The Roll Call. The biggest problem is that there is no reference to the Hyde Amendment. This refers to the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Plus, POTUS is not crazy about the bill increasing Medicaid’s eight percentage-point increase to provide matching funds.’
Capitol Hill reporter Erik Wasson spoke to the issue at hand:
‘A key sticking point in the talks appears to be GOP demands to include Hyde amendment language in the bill to prevent federal funds from being used for abortion’
Representative Rob Woodall (R-CA) said his party was worried that the bill’s inception created a new form of leave entitlement that made people’s employers add seven days to the 14-day paid time off period should there be “any public health emergency.” That would not be limited to this COVID-19 pandemic.
A White House official said the president’s administration agrees to many aspects of the bill, but not how they implement them:
‘The White House does not support much of what the speaker has proposed as currently drafted, but we do support many of the policies reflected in her draft, and are asking that they continue to work with us to find a bipartisan, bicameral agreement.’
An abortion rights provider respoonded via Twitter:
‘As someone who runs an abortion rights organization and employs the best policy analysts in the biz, this final point is a straight-up lie. The fact that the GOP would use the #CoronavirusPandemic to spread more falsehoods and grind an ideological ax is sickening and perverse.’
The Democrats have already approved some changes to their bill. These took the form of an amendment that was submitted by the House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY):
‘The changes would clarify that reimbursements for uninsured COVID-19 testing at diagnostic laboratories can’t cover individuals receiving other testing assistance in the bill, and that Medicaid coverage only applies to COVID-19 tests, as well as tighten exemptions from work search and other state unemployment assistance rules. ‘
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY) criticized the House bill.
‘The speaker’s proposal would stand up a needless thicket of new bureaucracy. As currently drafted, their proposal appears to impose permanent unfunded mandates on businesses that could cause massive job losses and put thousands of small businesses at risk.’
McConnell indicated that GOP senators would probably ask for quick consideration of the bills Thursday that could impact the coronavirus.
Rules Committee chair Jim McGovern (D-MA) was uncertain when they would meet again, but “that’s probably a good thing.” He said that meant House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin were still in talks.
Representative. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) that the bill could be further amended in the Senate and come up with changes that would be acceptable to both the Republicans and the Democrats. Then, the Senate would find the changes agreeable to both parties. That would mean the House could review it next week by “unanimous consent if necessary.
Donald Trump has had an emotional breakdown over talking to Pelosi and refers all conversations through the Secretary of the Treasury.
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