Yesterday, the first of what is likely to be several covid-19 related relief packages, was passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump. The package provides free Coronavirus tests, paid emergency leave, two weeks of paid sick leave, and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. The bill also expands federal funding for Medicaid.
Initially, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans were critical of the bill, which originated in the Democratically controlled House of Representatives. Last Monday, House Democrats adjusted the bill to make it more appealing to Republicans. After that, President Trump announced his support for the legislation. The decision by Trump paved the way for bipartisan support for the bill. McConnell noted that the situation was an emergency and urged his members to support the bill despite its perceived flaws.
Republicans and Democrats in Washington know that further relief is required to minimize an expected recession. Republican Senators are negotiating with Democrats over a trillion dollar relief package as the covid-19 crisis has forced rare consensus between Republicans and Democrats.