With a one-week recess looming, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that he refused to support the Democratic bill that attempts to limit the financial punch coronavirus (COVID-19) is certain to impose on Americans. He was arguing for legislators to stay in Washington to work out a bipartisan bill.
Donald Trump said in his speech from the Oval Office Wednesday night people facing economic hardships as a result of the virus and work disruptions would be helped. McCarthy said according to The POLITICO:
‘The president last night said we are committed to helping those who will face economic hardships as a result of work disruptions and illness. The country is looking to the government to come together and meet these challenges, but the bill that we saw that just came forth last night at 11 p.m. comes up short.’
The House Minority Leader spoke to reporters at the press conference:
‘There’s a couple major problems with it. Here’s one glaring problem, under [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s [D-Calif.] bill the Social Security Administration will be set up to administer the paid sick leave program. Now this will take more than six months, so it won’t work in time. It will also hamper the administration from putting out Social Security for those who need it right now that are in harm’s way.’
He continued with his criticisms:
‘This will hurt the very population, it’s supposed to be helping. It forces permanent paid sick leave for all businesses without exemptions and no sunsets.’
McCarthy spoke Thursday just prior to this bill came to the floor. He said that it would make employers give sick leave and higher unemployment benefits. The bill also required patients to receive free diagnostic testing for coronavirus.
The minority leader said the Republicans were concerned about how the paid sick leave and disaster aid would work. He emphasized he was working with the White House to gain bipartisan report:
‘There are a few ideas that I think that we have brought to the table that can help — employee retention credit, making public health emergencies eligible for major disaster programs.’
McCarthy went on, noting there was a way to get “millions of more masks” for health care providers:
‘And finally, solving the problems when it comes to masks, there’s a certain piece of legislation we can move that would be a piece of it that would give us millions of more masks out there for the health providers that need it. … I think we stay here until we get it right. This is a time in place that you do not want to rush something.’
Then, the Republican claimed the House could pass a bill within 24 hours:
‘We’ve got some bright minds … let them look at it. Let us get together and put the very best ideas together and I will promise you that you will find a very bipartisan vote for that and not the one that slows it up by any means and I think we can get this done in the next 48 hours,” he said. “I think that we can get this done in 24 or 48 hours — I think it’s critical that we do.’
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