House Passes Coronavirus Relief After Democrats Strike Deal With White House

Democrats dropped a proposal to establish a new paid sick leave entitlement for public health emergencies and added tax credits for small- and medium-size businesses requested by Republicans.

Comments: 233

  1. But what does this do for me? The majority of full-time employees, if we lose our jobs, how does this help us? It doesn't do a damn thing to help anyone of us. 1. We would always be able to get unemployment insurance, so this plan doesn't change that. 2. If you have a student loan, the $11 per month I would save on the interest of that loan will allow me to buy some soup. Wow! 3. But my mortgage, car payment, medical premiums, auto/home insurance - all need to be paid The US government can bail out the auto industry, banks and give billions in farm subsidies, but they can't help the people who are actually the source of all that money which allows them to bail out the auto industry, banks and give farm subsidies. Once again, a total failure of government by the King of Failure, Donald Trump.

  2. @Javalin For God's sake...outline this to EVERYONE you know, and urge them to VOTE. I am thinking about folks like you and wish you didn't have to be the ones who will take the largest brunt of this nightmare. So much for Trump's "strong economy"....

  3. @Javalin As for number 2, read the fine print. Your payments won't actually go down. You'll just be paying down more principle. It's even more unhelpful than you thought!

  4. @Javalin¡, Actually, staying home in quarantine doesn't qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. Only paid sick leave would help. Which the Senate Democrats abandoned in favor of the useless GOP tax credits.

  5. The big winner is Trump, seen as being able of compassion.

  6. @Roland Berger You are joking, right? There is nothing in Trump's signing of this bill that shows anything like compassion. He's only concerned about the numbers and his reelection chances. No leadership.

  7. @Roland Berger Trump's prime time attempts at compassion (read haltingly from a teleprompter) have been so phony to date that his acting skills wouldn't get him a role in a high school production of the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz.

  8. @Roland Berger , Nope. Nancy Pelosi has been the face of governing the whole time.

  9. Donald Trump introduced one corporate representative after another yesterday and praised his them and his staff. They all gave their two cents and Dr. Birx could not stop nodding in agreement with the president. So be it. But not one word of gratitude, not one word of praise, not one word of understanding for the millions of front line healthcare workers in this country - doctors, nurses, CNA’s, lab techs -any and all healthcare workers! Nothing! As a long time nurse, who has worked the trenches, as a mother of an ER Nurse, a mother-in-law of an NP, I cannot hardly verbalize my dismay and disgust for this president. Healthcare workers throughout this country are going in, will continue to go in, they will continue to put themselves at risk, to put their families portentially at risk, day after day, night after night, shift after shift, and a big fat nothing from this president - one from one person on that Rose Garden stage yesterday! I would like to take this opportunity to nationally say THANK YOU to all healthcare workers. You are our front lines. Your are our heroes. You are the most unselfish and dedicated American citizens we can possibly imagine right now. You are bright, you are flexible, but above all else - you care - and if this country needs anything else right now - we need care, and we need you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts!

  10. @MIMA I could not agree more! This needed to be said. I join you in extending my deepest thanks to all the frontline workers. Stay safe.

  11. @MIMA Thank you for pointing out that our first responders include our front line medical, nursing , respiratory therapists, cna's, clerical support, MEA's, as well as our EMS and firefighters. They are dedicated professional with integrity working to provide life saving interventions. Thank you and prayers that they are protected in their work.

  12. And, we cannot work from home. Restaurants may close, hospitals won't.

  13. Thank you Madam Speaker. Any GOP voters, if you don't like Government.. don't take governments help .. but please make sure to get tested, as yours and those around yours life may depend on it.

  14. @P2 There is more to life than partisan politics. maybe some day you will realize that.

  15. @NYChap Actually life depends on partisan politics. If the "make government small enough to drown in a bathtub" ideology had not be fiercely opposed, the current crisis would be on its way a millions deaths in the US.

  16. “I don’t take responsibility at all” True leaders Lead by Example, not by denial.

  17. @Jeffrey Schantz True leaders will say, "The buck stops with me." I recall President Obama doing it a number of times. Mr. Trump's endless blame-shifting is beyond revolting.

  18. @Jeffrey Schantz Yes. Whatever happened to 'The buck stops here."

  19. @Jeffrey Schantz And by being tested for the virus once they have been exposed. Poor form.

  20. The United States of American has been in a “National Emergency” since the day Trump was elected to the presidency. Unfortunately, and too late, some in this country are just waking up to this fact. It’s now a matter of life and death for us ordinary citizens.

  21. So the senate is not considering the bill until Monday. Two days is a long wait right now. This is a national emergency. They should be debating and voting on it today!

  22. @Saints Fan It should have been passed a month ago. But Trump was too busy telling us "it's just a bad cold". Actually, many items (e.g. mandatory sick leave) should have been passed decades ago.

  23. @EJ Yes!...and Trump rolled out his plan 54 days after the first community case was reported in the US. That's a long way along the X-axis of the curve we are trying to flatten.

  24. @EJ These are particularly prominent GOP senators such as McConnell, Graham, Cruz, Cornyn, Burr, Johnson, and Thune who just acquitted this grossly incompetent president ... their unflinching support is growing more and more untenable each and every day. GOP senators defending trump’s malfeasance (extortion, bribery) are accomplices not dupes.

  25. What of us who work in the "gig" economy? How does this help us as work prospects slow or halt? And we are a big part of this dysfunctional economy. And this virus is revealing just how dysfunctional it is.

  26. @Fromjersey The Gig Economy and the people that enacted it, did so with the intensions, plain and simple of making maximum profit off the work of others by providing a small component of the system; the e-connectability of it. And the originators be that Uber or AirB&B or whomever, feel they really aren't responsible. My fear is that all corporations and companies will take this cue and that Republicans will push to have government employees become no different than Gig Ecomomy workers somehow.

  27. @Fromjersey: It certainly demonstrates how weak the individual is in this system. Gig workers are often isolated, have few to no work colleagues, and are unable to organize in any politically meaningful way. It's the perfect setup for exploitative capitalists who want to keep workers weak and powerless, without any bargaining leverage and unable to make any demands for themselves.

  28. @Clearwater Exactly. Republican dominance in gov't enabled the Supreme court to deem corporations as people. Since the Great Recession corporations have felt emboldened to strip workers of any stability and hire workers as freelance or part time or whatever cutoff to deny providing any benefits. The gig work situation has been proliferating since then. Republican's don't care, they want everyone to be self sufficient, as corporations bleed us dry as workers and consumers. Like the Republican's, these corporations who are "people" are heartless and are only concerned about profiteering and hoarding power and money. Trump and McConnell, who lack any empathy, sense of collective responsibility or moral character, are the representative epitome of what corporations as people are all about.

  29. The ramifications from this virus have shown us how weak our systems have become. When 75% of children from Kentucky need the schools to remain open to receive 1 good meal a day while the Senator from Kentucky is more worried about packing the courts with his type of judges, we have a problem. It is not the pathogenicity of this virus that has created these problems. The virus only brings these travesties to light for all to see.

  30. @AM Murphy The Grim Realer refuses to do any oversight while the President is not acting rationally. Why even have a Senate if the Senate Leader will only do what the President let’s him do. People across the country are taking drastic steps to try to fight the virus and Mitch is on a 3 day weekend like nothing is going on.

  31. @AM Murphy All you have to do to see where Mitch McConnell's priorities lie is glance at the statistics about the state he has helped govern since the mid-1980s. By any measure, Kentucky is a mess*. It is poor, unhealthy, under-employed, non-competitive, poorly educated, addicted, and despairing. While Mitch has been off playing tactician, his state has continued to sink. McConnell is a heartless, cold, ruthless man who is out for himself. Maybe the chickens are finally coming home to roost. * Kentucky: / #46 in Educational attainment.. / #46 in Poverty. / #43 in Employment. But #5 in receipt of federal subsidies & #1 in obstructionist politicians

  32. @AM Murphy Your comment is a keeper. Excellently said.

  33. To the Times and other outlets, please publish the list of the Republican House members and Senators who have voted against this bill. In a time of national emergency, these clowns are interested in pushing their failed politics. The worst part is that if any of their states is hit by a natural disaster, they have no problem standing in line begging for bailouts.

  34. @newton You didn't mention the Dems tried to install permanent entitlements. Who was it that cynically said, "Don't let a crisis go to waste."?

  35. They did! There’s a link within the article with every members vote.

  36. @Lee Herring Please cite your statement with facts. If it is true, I think we would be upset with the Dems too. As it stands, the bill which is supportive of ordinary Americans, passed despite 40 Republican NAYs - including representatives from your own state of NC who seem to have no issue asking for bailouts from hurricanes and floods.

  37. "At the news conference, Mr. Trump followed none of the safety protocols recommended to combat the spread of the virus, shaking hands with multiple administration officials and chief executives and sharing a microphone with them." Of course. He is the ultimate macho man who will not succumb to a tiny microbe from "foreign lands".

  38. @Alfred Yul If anyone deserves to be a victim of this virus, it is Trump. When, not if, he comes down with this virus, I will not feel one bit of pity for him. I do not wish death on anyone, but Trump should be a victim of his own ignorance. Wouldn’t it be grand to have Trump in quarantine for 14 days? No tweets, no nasty comments, no lies.

  39. "It provides tax credits to help small- and medium-size businesses finance the new benefit. It does not include the payroll tax suspension that Mr. Trump wants. Any such suspension could cost more than $800 billion and would not provide help to workers who lose their jobs or stop drawing salaries in the outbreak." So that's the compromise - the Democrats get the payroll tax cut out (which supports the most helpless among us), and the Republicans get the hourly workers with no benefits (socialism!!! beneficiaries) cut out. In either case, those workers at the bottom rungs, service workers most likely to lose their jobs in economic downturns like the one we face, are most likely to be least taken care of. It's shameful.

  40. Jane, what do you mean? The payroll tax is not going to be suspended, ie, will continue to be collected.

  41. @Jane A cut in payroll taxes is of no help if you lose your job, it only help those who have an income (and the bigger your income the more you get). The good old $300 (taxable income) check to everybody would be more effective of targeting those in most need.

  42. @Jane “Payroll taxes” fund Social Security and Medicare. Cut those and Republicans will say we can’t afford SS and Medicare. It’s a trap.

  43. People have, in my opinion, lost their minds over this. Sadly, the country's "leader" has never really had a mind.

  44. Why would Mr Trump follow the safety precautions advised by all the health professionals, such as not shaking hands? After all Donald Trump knows more about this coronavirus pandemic than all the virologists and epidemiologists in the rest of the world. When the Covid-19 epidemic sweeps through the White House Donald Trump will be seen as the primary source of the infection. But he already told us the virus will go away in Apri when it gets warmer, so not to worry. Even when the strutting rooster in the barnyard on Pennsylvania Avenue is too sick to crow one morning next week because of his own Covid-19 infection, the sun will still rise.

  45. @RLW: This whole business about the virus going away when it gets warmer is hilarious. It's been 80 degrees in Texas for the past week and new cases are being diagnosed daily.

  46. Donald Trump lied repeatedly yesterday in the most important speech of his presidency. There is no national Google Coronavirus app, millions and millions of tests WILL be needed, it IS his fault - not Obama’s - for not being prepared for this. But after all that, I found Mike Pence’s minimization of the awfulness awaiting seniors to be the most galling. He needed to be straight with them and instead he spouted inane Hallmark-isms.

  47. Pence's role was to stroke Trump's ego. I do not think that anyone was fooled by this (except Trump, himself of course.)

  48. @Dudesworth In his ho hum press conferences Pence liberally fawns all over trump bestowing vaunting empty praise on his motley crew of incompetents while serving up as much inspiration as a wet blanket on a cold night. Hardly the kind of national leadership desperately needed at this critical moment.

  49. Part of this bill should have been a clause that says that if things get worse, Andrew Yang's Universal Basic income will be rolled out nationwide for a limited period. It would be targeted, remove anxiety for a number of workers and ensure that the economy stays resilient through the worst of the crisis. And, to be responsible, this spending should be covered by a modest 1% increase in taxes, after normalization, for as many years as needed to recoup the cost. We're all in this together.

  50. Yang supported a UBI, but he did not invent or originate the concept.

  51. @AnnaT Fair enough. Greta Thunberg was not the first person to start climate activism and Malala Yousafzai was not the first to advocate female literacy but people do get tagged with certain ideas when their advocacy of that idea makes it a movement or at least brings it to the mainstream. In any event, all of this is irrelevant to the main point.

  52. @MB Hear, hear. One of the best suggestions yet.

  53. Our public health system does not have the human resources to identify new cases, trace contacts, and implement quarantine. Implementing these measure is not rocket science, just direction, leg work, phone calls, and quarantine. Federal agencies, the FBI, Homeland Security, the CIA, Border Patrol, perhaps even the National Guard, need to cease their non emergent routine and pitch in. Our country is moving in the right direction, cancelling events, washing hands, and distancing, but standard epidemic fighting measures are the most effective way to slow the virus. A first mistake was the bureaucrats in our public health sector eschewing help from the private sector to develop and distribute testing. That mistake has put us way behind the curve in identifying, tracing and quarantining. Testing, though, isn’t enough, we need manpower for the follow through.

  54. The bill passed by the House excludes private employers who employ more than 500 people from all of the paid leave provisions. As such, this law isn’t going to be particularly helpful for most people. If Congress really wants to help people, the cap should be lifted.

  55. @G. Murphy Solution is simple... if you work for one of these companies and feel sick, just go into work and "accidentally" sneeze on your boss's boss. If they attempt to fire you over this, truthfully state that you had requested sick leave from your boss, but (s)he rejected your request.

  56. @G. Murphy Most large company's already have some form of paid sick leave, so why have the tax payers fund what is already in place?

  57. It is mind boggling that Republicans oppose paid sick leave during a public health emergency as a permanent measure. Because what...next time we should again wait until it is too late to contain the spread? Talk about learning absolutely nothing!

  58. It is clear this Administration does not want the our virus numbers quantified. Our Three-card Monte President has shifted the responsibility for determining whether you get a corona virus test to a Google app.

  59. I have a question ... how does our First Amendment right to assemble peacefully play out in this environment?

  60. All of our rights can be limited or curtailed to meet the needs of a national emergency. Generally, the welfare of the herd preempts the rights of the individual. Think screaming fire in a crowded theater or the powers of government during times of war.

  61. @Maria Nothing says that you can't all gather together in a private residence... in fact go knock yourself out. In this case because there is a health concern for gathering PUBLICLY on public land, it is fully within the government's rights to limit such gatherings for the duration of the crisis out of concern for public welfare. If this limitation goes on beyond the health crisis, then it's a problem.

  62. @James Constantino Thank you. That's what I'm afraid of.

  63. The payroll tax suspension would be far better than nothing, but the two parties are BOTH opposed to it?! Otherwise, the economic package sounds something like trickle-down. Yet again with this garbage! And hang the cost! This is an emergency. The logic seems to be that a government that can actually print legal tinder can't afford to do anything rational. Baloney. Mint the trillion-dollar coin (as Paul Krugman once suggested) and the problem is solved! Meanwhile, what about the millions of Americans living paycheck to paycheck who lose jobs and still would like to continue living? And where are the businesses suffering from virus-induced losses supposed to get the money to provide paid sick leave? Tulsi Gabbard's bill to provide a temporary universal basic income for each household during the virus emergency is the minimum that's needed. But of course, it won't go anywhere, even in the Democratic House. Again, again and again, mint the trillion-dollar coin -- or maybe a few of them -- and we can do what's needed! Nobody questioned how we'd pay to fight World War Two. This disease quite likely will kill more Americans than that war, and yet these coddled Washington clucks with concrete for brains insist on futzing around the edges of the issue.

  64. @Pelham defund Social Security & Medicare to feed the billionaires? We not Me!

  65. @Pelham - Late one evening I was on the LA Metro Red Line and I watched this middle aged woman board the subway. She was pulling a rolling shopping cart filled with tchotch·kes and trinkets for tourists visiting Hollywood and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I thought to myself, "God, that is tough life!" What about her during this crisis? How is she going to pay her bills? I was never a "working" American. I had it pretty easy. "Work?" That describes my father and mother. When describing "working" Americans, don't look at me.

  66. Just two weeks of coverage? Like life will resume where we left off after two weeks.The situation is way more desperate than articulated by our elected stable geniuses...

  67. I would like to read some of the reasons 40 GOP members of the House voted against this health crisis aid package. As well, what is the meaning of a "present" vote by the House's only Independent member? Sitting on the fence at this time for any political purpose is an absurd waste of taxpayer salary for someone sent to DC to make decisions for the general welfare...

  68. Funny how all of a sudden Bernie Sanders message makes a lot more sense. Suddenly well off people are thinking "whos going to watch my kids, I can't take time off work if schools close. Will my insurance cover this? What If my job closes. how will I pay my bills." Congratulations, you now understand what life is like for millions of Americans. These programs are not for "them" they are for all of us. Healthcare for all of us. Paid sick leave for all of us. Childcare assistance for all of us. This is a chance to remake our country into a better, more just, more equitable one with happier healthier citizens. Let's actually take it.

  69. What is the Defense budget for? Threats to national security. Why isn't there more discussion about redeploying some of this money?

  70. @Bob Kanegis Thank Bob, you have given me the best birthday present.

  71. @Bob Kanegis Trump says it’s needed for his wall.

  72. @Bob Kanegis. Now Bob, we all know that money has to be redeployed toward the border wall! (Sarcasm)

  73. Well done to Speaker Pelosi. First, she pushed through the $8.3 billion emergency package when the Trump administration was asking for a much smaller and wholly inadequate sum to fight the coronavirus. Now, she has pushed through this economic relief package, focused on providing assistance to the most vulnerable workers in our economy. This is what real leadership looks like. Everyone should be thankful that we have at least one grown-up left in the room at times like this.

  74. @Julie W. Pelosi for President!!!

  75. First, why did McConnell let the Senate go home for three days when he knew this urgent relief package was being completed in the House and with Mnuchin? McConnell needs to answer for that, since it will take time to implement these measures and time is of the essence. Trump will now consider his work pretty much complete since he has no understanding of program management and risk mitigation. Will he or Pence begin to finally provide information regarding the comprehensive, coordinated Federal plan itself - including how the $8.3B mitigation funds, passed last week is being used and why - and its progress? For example: 1. What is FEMA's plan to use the $50B now available for providing support to health professionals at lower governmental levels? Will the plan and funding be administered through the task force, with Pence accountable? 2. What are the major priorities, the criteria for distributing the money and assistance and what metrics will be used to define success? 3. How will the progress regarding implementation of the plan be communicated to other governmental leaders and to the American people? We need specificity, accountability and candor. 4. How are we coordinating our response with other leaders of the world? We should be learning from one another regarding what is succeeding and what is not, why, and how we might adjust our plan and actions as the crisis unfolds. The highest level of program management is now required. Can Trump lead such an effort?

  76. @Scott Emery No! Trump can't lead anything.

  77. With all these financial help, tax reduction, and aid package, the fundamental problem remains: we need test kits in every available places such as Walmart, Target, and Walgreen. In addition, we need masks and protective gears for our front line medical staffs. Without those, we still cannot handle the Covid-19.

  78. I think we need to begin a conversation about the awful mental health effects of constant cancellations on younger people - tournaments cancelled, opportunities foresaken, graduations annulled, such fragility imposes upon them. Heartbreaking. No summer camps, no field trips, no rites of passage. And let’s not kid ourselves. These drastic policies will remain in place until the end of 2020. This is because a zero tolerance approach to virus means there will always be impending transmissions and hence we must ‘fight’ against this. While I understand this approach, we should also to be mindful of the impact on others, mainly young people, who will be affected by economic collapse and lost opportunities and moments.

  79. THIS is a rite of passage for young people! Learning to deal with adversity. A field trip being canceled is not a mental health crisis. This is a perfect time to teach a child about sacrifice for the greater good.

  80. Not everyone can power through a mental health crisis. Younger people especially don't have as many tools and experience to deal with challenges.

  81. @Curious Probably I am just old but why is all of this tragic. You have to overcome obstacles in life. This generation seems so entitled to me. Everything is a tragedy. The authorities are now doing what they need for public health. Sports and summer camps are not life or death.

  82. Quick, efficient testing is the key. The archaic, sclerotic protocol and as it turns out flawed test kits CDC insisted be the sole source of testing is quickly being replaced with private sector speed, efficiency and accuracy. The president and his team deserve credit for addressing in unprecedented fashion what was becoming not only a crisis of public health but confidence in our institutions. So too do the corporations who've joined the fray. Lastly, here's a cheer to Nancy Pelosi who managed temporarily at least, to put partisan politics aside and place the welfare of all Americans at the forefront. Kudos to them all.

  83. @tim k The President sat on his hands for weeks and made misstatements about the virus. Sorry but I have trouble giving him any credit now. If not for some of his advisors he would still be in denial.

  84. @tim k Nancy Pelosi is a national heroine, not an afterthought for a "cheer". She has always placed the welfare of all Americans at the forefront. None of what has happened in the last 24 hours would have come to pass without her. The President was finally moved - not to action but to allowing others to act - when he saw what happened to the stock market on Thursday. He understands nothing else. As for his team deserving credit for tackling a crisis in public health and in our institutions, who, with their constant attacks on the Affordable Care Act and budget cuts and disdain for our institutions have brought us to this pass?

  85. @tim k This alternative universe version of "Facts" is rather silly, but I guess that is to be expected from the Fox News 40%. The President has done NOTHING to address anything. He has been forced every step of the way and continues to lie. The House passed the needed bill and the Senate left for the weekend after doing Nothing. The WHO has a fast test. "Private sector speed" is nonsense. Their main strength is marketing. The science and development has all been done by public labs from AROUND the world, not just the US. Here is hoping that the private sector can bring manufacturing strength, BUT now the issue is the testing and the processing of the tests. Maybe there will be some "private sector speed" here.

  86. I’m glad economic measures may be taken—I’ll believe that when I see the republican senate vote—but none of these measures help those of us who are independent service workers and sole proprietors. I work as a professional Medical Exercise Specialist and the majority of my clients are older (as am I—66) or have chronic health conditions. Many are already going into self-isolation and although I work with them in their own homes and am probably of little danger to them, they want no outsiders in so my work life is evaporating. I cannot get unemployment because I am self-employed and, of course, sick leave or a payroll tax cut are not available to me. But I can at least see whether some clients will move to remote online training. Others, massage therapists, house cleaners, hairstylists have no such options and neither do most gig workers, including musicians who will lose engagements as bars and restaurants cut back. We are—and will continue to be—adrift, effectively forced to watch our professional lives shrivel away.

  87. My thoughts go out to a young man who helps seniors in their homes, helping maintain a safe and healthy environment. He is the most basic caregiver, an "at will" employee.... ....for four employers. No benefits. No vacations. Paid for working while he works to complete his degree program. My wife learned that he is "sick". That's all we know. Falling directly through that ever-so-convenient crack in the system.

  88. "talks continued as the afternoon progressed. As Mr. Trump was criticizing Democrats, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin were speaking" Thanks to trump's supporters we must continue to suffer this adolescent while the adults get the job done.

  89. @John Adolescent? Trump is a pre-school child.

  90. Really? Early next week? Is this not a crisis that demands a little extra effort? They work for us and we demand overtime! Nero is not the only fiddler. We will not forget.

  91. I see members of Congress, including Nancy Pelos, standing very close to each other, shoulder to shoulder, hands and faces very close. With government officials self-isolating or testing positive for Covid-19, images like these are sending the wrong message. It is completely possible to project a show of unity and standing together while physically standing apart. Let's do this, now.

  92. @AGoldstein People have to follow the guidelines. Social distancing precludes groups of individuals standing close to one another as seen recently in the rose garden yesterday and at the congressional hearings earlier in the week. To top it all off, we have an incompetent leader thumbing his nose at the experts. He says one thing and acts the complete opposite. He shook hands with almost everyone, and taken aback when one had the courage to offer him an elbow bump. Also, praising the "yes sir" lady with the chart, and demeaning Dr. Fauci by referring to him as just Tony, and not as Doctor.

  93. I want to see the income tax filing deadline extended to May 15. There is no need to put the public along with attorneys, accountants, and other tax professionals at risk because of an arbitrary deadline date.

  94. and people losing their jobs may not be able to pay

  95. what makes you assume May 15th the virus will be gone?

  96. We have a son and daughter-in-law in western MA. He is a tattoo artist doing custom work. She is a professional masseuse at a resort in the area. In the past weeks, clients have been cancelling appointments out of COVID-19 fears. They are in dire straits and depressed. I don’t know if they are truly ‘employees’ or are ‘independent contractors’ - if the latter, I don’t see anything in this bill that will help them. I also have a daughter - a photographer - who just had a $3000 job canceled out of COVID-19 concerns by the business client. She moved to LA 6 weeks ago and is an independent contractor. She’s trying to get established. She’s talented and a very hard worker, neither of which stand a chance against this pandemic. I don’t see how she would be helped by this bill.

  97. @MJH I have asthma, I'm over 65 and allergic to most antibiotics, so I plan on staying close to home, not eating in restaurants, not going to social things, not having people over and I'm concerned about keeping my home sterile, so I reluctantly cancelled the people who help me clean my home every other week and probably will for at least for the next month. I will be paying them 1/2 the money voluntarily, now because I worry about them. I thought it was the right thing to do. Perhaps all of us can do things that this, help those who help us, but whose services we might not be using right now out of what I hope is an excess of caution.

  98. “I don’t take responsibility at all,” Mr. Trump said. The story of Donald Trump's life, Presidency and public policy. In case anyone had any doubts, he recklessly and irresponsibly shook hands with multiple officials and CEOs and repeatedly touched the shared microphone, demonstrating on every level possible how to spread the coronavirus while taking zero responsibility for it....and still harboring hope at undermining the nation's Social Security and Medicare funding with his reckless payroll tax cut idea. Nobody sinks to the occasion like Donald Trump. Remember in November.

  99. @Socrates I wonder what the mental health experts think of Trump’s destructive behavior. He’s placing himself and many other people at serious risk with his refusal to heed any warnings about the virus.

  100. @Socrates Here's hoping that he and his family get a severe case of the virus.

  101. And Mitch McConnell sent the Senate home for the weekend so he could be in Louisville with Bret Kavanaugh for the swearing in of new Federal Judge Justin Walker. Again, what are the priorities of leadership?

  102. @Frank Mitch McConnell's only priorities are ones that maintain conservative control over the government and courts not the national welfare. The fact that the Republicans were playing partisan politics trying to insert anti-abortion legislation into a corona virus relief bill that the country desperately needs, shows they have no genuine concern for the citizens of this country.

  103. @Frank That tells you what is his priorities are. Public Health doesn't appear to be one of them.

  104. It’s nice to see the Democrats coming to the table and being willing to compromise. And kudos to the President for doing this for people.

  105. @Randy L. Our constitution states that the House passes legislation, then the Senate takes up that legislation (creating and passing their own version) - THEN both parties come to the table and work out a compromise. The democrats in the house have passed over 200 bills addressing just about any problem you can imagine. Mitch has refused to allow all but a handful of them to be even considered by the Senate. For emergencies house and senate leaders communicate to ensure that what the house pass will be acceptable for the senate (to avoid spending time later, at the table, working out a compromise). It seems like it has not been the Democrats that have refused to "come to the table". Even in this case Mitch has not shown up - and made sure the legislation could pass the Senate within hours of the House passing it. Instead we will have partisan rumblings about changing this or that before the Senate accept it. So far the Democrats have been sitting and waiting at the table over 200 times - because the GOP senate refuse to do its job.

  106. @Ivan Remember when Harry Reid refused to bring to the floor any legislation put forward by the Republicans? All because the Democrats refused to do their jobs.

  107. What, exactly do you believe the president has done? If you actually read the article, instead of just receiving a Party notice to comment, you would know that Trump has done nothing but lie and make false promises to do something.

  108. Donald Trump must be crestfallen. A microscopic virus has taken all the attention away from Trump. The attention getter is Covid 19. Trump has lost his perch.

  109. Google is NOT WORKING on a triage tool for the public's COVID-19 testing! A sister company, Verify, with only 225 employees.....NOT 1700 engineers....was working on a triage tool for the healthcare system. Another Trump lie that will cause him to lose the election. His inability to tell the truth will cause the stock market to take another dive when it discovers that everything that man said about Google and its 1700 engineers is just a boldface lie, and he said it solely to get the market moving.

  110. A”triage tool”? Triage is the process of deciding who does NOT get treated. I don’t remember Trump highlighting that.

  111. Please start including bill numbers (e.g. H.R. 6201) in your coverage of legislation. One purpose of the press is to inform citizens in a democracy to participate. Please encourage that participation by giving readers the information we need to communicate with our government representatives. I shouldn’t have to dig through several hyperlinks to get this information. Just including it parenthetically with the first mention of the bill would suffice. Maybe also add a phone icon link to the Congressional switchboard phone number (202.224.3121) to ease participation? Thanks.

  112. @hk Yes, journalists, please start paying attention to what else you can do to help.

  113. @hk Agreed! And thank you for providing the switchboard number. Please folks, call your Senators and urge them to pass this bill HR 6201*As is*. Tell your Senators your personal stories (there are many in these comments). My son just got laid off yesterday, and his girlfriend, a cancer patient, is in danger of being laid off. She will lose her health insurance if that happens. Peoples’ lives are at stake, so please, all, make these calls. Here’s a script: “Hello Senator_______, my name is _______. I urge you to vote yes on HR 6201. (Add your story). Millions of Americans’ lives and livelihoods are at stake, and we must have this relief package. Voting no is not an option. Thank you.”

  114. All I see before I get to this story is 70 something third in line to the presidency Nancy Pelosi in a crowd of people who may have been exposed to the virus. The secret service should all be fired... They let Pence and Trump both be around infected people and it's obvious Trump has something. Do your jobs and get the people in line to take over to a safe place and get them tested.

  115. @Missy Do you think Trump has something because his face was sprayed bright orange? Doesn't he have handlers who tell him?

  116. Yesterday we saw the real concern of this President- Wall Street. A parade of C.E.O’s just before the closing bell of the stock market was a pageant staged for the benefit of corporate investors.

  117. @Edie Clark I concur with you that the timing and the attendees were orchestrated with the stock market in mind, Trump's only bellwether. But as calculating as this was, the correct people were on that stage to hopefully quell some concerns. Like or not, taking some volatility of the crashing market is a good thing and the last thing any of us wants is to see more sharp declines that could lead to a credit freeze along the lines of the 2008 crash. That will guarantee a longer than necessary recession.

  118. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation early next week??? Glad to see they’re keeping normal business hours. At the rate we’re going that translates into very large numbers of infections and deaths between now and then. Call a special session and get going on this TODAY!!!

  119. @Bob Hawthorne It is a republican run Senate, what do we expect? They are not concerned with the general population. Passing this bill will not put money in their pockets, so they are in no hurry to do something that will help the people of this country. If they really were concerned, they would have held an emergency session during the night and passed this bill. This is what we get when our government is run by republicans. Time to tell them goodbye and elect a democratic presdient.

  120. As a society, we deserve what’s coming to us. Short-sighted politics, crass capitalism, and individualism will allow the virus to spread unchecked throughout the nation. God willing, the pandemic will body check the US back to sanity. But I kinda doubt it.

  121. @Paul I am so tired of hearing the comment "we deserve what's coming to us". Most of us are good people in a country that was sabotaged by an antiquated electoral college system, a dishonest SCOTUS appointment, and gerrymandering. Like you comment, let's hope this is a wakeup call for changes on our system so that the majority of Americans are fairly represented .

  122. President Trump himself is a national emergency. His administration's handling of the crisis is incompetent. He should be reassuring and uniting people instead of trying to blame others and using the pandemic for political gain. His behavior is shocking and embarrassing.

  123. Even with something as critical as this response, Republican leaders do nothing but attack, attack, attack and offer no alternatives. No policies. No direction. They criticize Democrats for wanting paid sick leave permanently without the self-awareness to realize that if that had already been the standing policy starting 25 years ago we might not be in this mess. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of Mitch McConnell. I’m sick of Rand Paul. I’m sick of Donald Trump. And because of these inept “leaders” and others like them, many of us might actually get sick. Republican Senators and Congressional Reps, come to the table with ideas for policies meant to help your constituents. Not ideas for future attack ads.

  124. @CB Don't be just "sick" of McConnell, Rand Paul and Trump. Vote them out and tell everyone else to do so. Find good candidates to replace them and support those people.

  125. Relatedly: Would someone, anyone, in what's left of the journalism profession please, please, please investigate just how we ended up with China supplying 96% of our antibiotics? It's relevant as China has now threatened to cut off supplies if we displease them by assigning blame for this viral scourge to them. Apparently, though, the responsibility for this mess lies with us -- or, more probably, with our corporate oligarchy and their sniveling succession of servants in Congress and the White House. Also, I find it puzzling in the extreme when our government for many years has discouraged Americans from buying drugs abroad because, supposedly, foreign standards weren't up to ours. And yet now we're getting all these medicines from China?! China?!!! Explain, please.

  126. @Pelham "Would someone, anyone, in what's left of the journalism profession please, please, please investigate just how we ended up with China supplying 96% of our antibiotics? " Actually there's been plenty of reporting that might give you a clue. As a 40 year member of the Washington "swamp", Joe Biden, like many other members has had a long and cozy relationship with China. To wit: In the fight over whether to grant most-favored-nation trade status and World Trade Organization membership to China in the 1990s Biden shepherded China through the process from his powerful perch as the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In February 2012, with Xi standing next to him, Biden praised Beijing as a “new partner” that would help to meet “global challenges,”...It pushes our companies to develop better products and services and our government to craft better policies.” Of course at that very moment millions of American jobs were disappearing and the militarization of the South China Sea was just around the corner. Perhaps too he will explain how it came to be that Hunter Biden accompanied him on a trip to Beijing in 2013, the same year he joined the board of a Shanghai-based private equity firm. In 2017, a few months after his father left office, he invested a substantial chunk of his own money in the company. We don’t know yet what he’s made off the deal, but it's certain Hunter is doing better than anyone now facing layoffs.

  127. @Pelham It is called free market forces and it is one of the 10 commandments of the religion called "government bad, private enterprise good". China has been exploiting the weakness from our infestation with this religion for many years. Rare earth metals is another case of allowing our economy to be at the mercy of that dictatorship.

  128. @Pelham - Maybe Xi Xinping, the Chinese Premier, will read, "The Art of the Deal" and realize that now is the time to raise prices on all medical supplies and antibiotics going to the United States. After all, law of supply and demand. And while Xi Xinping is at it, he should book a room, floor or wing at Mar-A-Lago now that prices have been reduced and maybe throw in a side trip to Disneyworld where the Chinese delegation will have the run of the park. No lines Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! Wow!

  129. Despite the urgency of getting this bill passed so that relief and assistance may rapidly get to victims of this pandemic, Mitch McConnell has taken the weekend off for a non-essential political trip to Kentucky. The Senate cannot take up this legislation until Monday at the earliest. McConnell would do the nation a great service if he resigned and stayed in Kentucky so that the people’s work could get done efficiently during this crisis. Every minute counts.

  130. Yesterday, one of our senators and Trump bestie, Mike Braun, attended the groundbreaking for an expanded runway at the tiny airport in Huntingburg, IN. He and other attendees also checked out the little planes. Meanwhile, the virus spreads, store shelves are bare, and people are worried.

  131. I just noticed this too. After Pelosi worked like crazy to get a bill done by Friday, I hear the senate will not address it until Monday. No sense of urgency. Gives the old cronies time to huddle and make deals— and time for Trump to follow his capricious pattern and change his mind. There’s a difference between panic and a sense of urgency. The panic Americans are feeling is due to the lack of urgency of the White House and Republicans. I felt a momentary huge sense of relief, hearing that Pelosi and the White House had come to agreement— imperfect as it may be. For a few brief moments it appeared, while senselessly late, some positive action was underway. And now Mitch. There went any sense of calm I had.

  132. Americans may think we are leaderless, but we are not. The third person in line to the presidency of these United States, the Speaker of the House, has shown us once again true political wisdom, true representation as our forefathers intended. Nancy Pelosi has managed to work with this administration, no easy task, in order to aid, assist, and support Democrats and Republicans alike during this threatening and nasty pandemic. As we watch Pence honor and praise his boss, as we listen to that very man not take any responsibility for this debacle, it is easy to become hopeless for the health of our democracy and its millions of people. But we’ll make it through. The unsung heroes of the day like Speaker Pelosi, Dr. Fauci, and our health care professionals on the front line will guide us all the way. Let us not forget.

  133. @Kathy Lollock I agree with you 100%. Why so many people still have misgivings that a woman couldn’t handle the presidency baffles me.

  134. @Kathy Lollock I appreciate what the private sector is doing , but once they were called upon one by one, did anyone else watching this press conference feel that this was a commercial plug for each of the private companies that are working with the government? Why didn't these companies offer to do this on their own like many other companies are doing? I receive emails daily from companies who are making accommodations without federal government committees. Is there any oversight on the deals possibly being made with them? I don't want to be cynical, but in these times of oligarchy rule and connections I can't help but be. Rather than seeing stock reports on the corner of the screen, I would have preferred to see what was going on with the house negotiations on a bill that would affect "all" Americans. It's disgusting that the stock market has become the measure of our country's health in the media.

  135. @Kathy Lollock Contrast Pelosi's willingness to negotiate and govern constructively in a crisis--even if mitigation means helping the opposing party--with McConnell's intransigence in the 2008-09 meltdown. Wasn't "Country First" the Republican party's campaign slogan in 2008?

  136. My 20 year old daughter works in a restaurant in Portland, OR, and lives on a shoestring budget, waiting to return to college later this year. Given the restaurant closures here in Seattle, it's only a matter of time before she loses her job. I hope this bill is signed and that the enhanced unemployment benefits allow her to weather the storm. My son is graduating in film from NYU soon, and the jobs he's applied to are all drying up as the film/TV production takes a hiatus. There will be no help for him in this bill, as he faces having to support himself and pay student loans without an income.

  137. @JS Yes this section of the population that you describe is really in for a challenge. This group deserves and requires a break financially. We need young people to see opportunity and positive support for them to not give up on their dreams. We all need their optimism, creativity and energy.

  138. @JS My two daughters who also live in Portland OR, and one of whom had planned on returning to school, and one attending classes to get into another field, and are baristas, are in the same boat. I think the idea of giving everyone 1,000 dollars, is a great idea, as it would allow people to pay rent or what ever, now. And, as I heard from an economist, with the interest rate being so low, in ten years, the government would have to pay back 900.00 for ever 1000.00 borrowed.

  139. Proving once again that innumeracy and gullibility are epidemic in America. A low interest rate is NOT a negative rate.

  140. This article by Jim Tankersley and Emily Cochrane is good reporting and accurately conveys the terms of the final House coronavirus bill. The bill is a good immediate step, but the thing which has been significant has been the reluctance of Donald Trump to cooperate with any official response to the Covid-19 crisis in which he does not hold center stage. Trump also has no patience for any press coverage which does not focus on the president’s good work. Donald Trump unrealistically expects that all legislative action will contain a specific exculpation of Trump for the delay in responding to reports from China in early January. He also seems disappointed that the approval process has not praised him for finally doing something constructive.

  141. Andrew Yang's $1,000 per month Universal Basic Income for all adults looks pretty good in comparison to this bill that includes a bailout for oil companies. We need to keep it simple and give the money directly to the people, not to the banks and corporations.

  142. Decades of pushing the idea that "government is the problem" has brought us this mess. Relying on "free market" solutions and for-profit health care, while cutting programs designed to help people, leaves us with little left as a safety net. Democrats need to push hard to reverse those horrific tax cuts and show how those funds can be put to work rebuilding the nation's health infrastructure. These funds will also help secure our economy. We need to start caring about all Americans, not just giving away the nation's resources to the very rich.

  143. @avrds The free market got us 24 dollar bottles of hand sanitizer and people hoarding toilet paper to resell for 1000x markups on Amazon.

  144. Trump continues to downplay the need for testing and suggests that we will never need to use the 5 million tests that have been targeted for production. Using the criteria to only test people who show symptoms cannot prevail in the long term. I understand the need to prioritize the testing because there are limited tests available. But testing has to go beyond symptomatic to include people who may have been exposed. Symptoms can show up 2 weeks after exposure. People are isolating themselves for 2 weeks, which means that they may have the virus and still be contagious after the 2 week period making isolation/quarantine ineffectual. Robust testing is the only way flatten the contagion curve until a viable vaccine is available. We still don't know the time frame to deem someone 'cured' and non-transmissible. We still don't know how long people remain immune. Weekly Testing may be the only way to protect aged and infirm who are extremely vulnerable by their daily interactions with family and health care professionals who are exposed to the virus.

  145. I have not read how soon the virus can be detected on an exposed.individua

  146. Last evening, Judy Woodruff closed the PBS News Hour by observing that it is understandable that people want to protect their families in this crisis, but that we all should consider people who maybe couldn't get to the store as soon as they wanted and look out for each other. That is genuine leadership. Ms. Woodruff has won my heart before this, and I thank God for true leaders. In November, we can restore real leaders to serve in our government. I can't wait.

  147. Good comments on what this relief bill won’t do for independent contractors, gig workers. Maybe some of that federal released emergency money could go to local unemployment offices. An independent worker brings in his past tax returns, showing an income level, and gets an ‘unemployment’ check on the same basis as a regular employee who was laid off? And that same local office might start making a list of younger, less susceptible people to run errands, deliver necessities, to we oldsters. And set a no-gouging pay rate for them. And maybe courts could declare a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent, missed mortgage payments, on a showing of job loss. Surely there are tons of other suggestions for dealing with those left out of this current House bill. Since the Senate Republicans would rather take the weekend off, others touting capitalism might fill in the void and suggest ways capitalism might help independent workers they’ve fed off of. Or, we can watch the Market tank yet again, next week.

  148. How will the staff at the unemployment offices handle this? Answer: they can't. They would need funding, instructions, and personnel, and The Donald isn't bringing that.

  149. Is there anywhere else in the world where it requires a specific act of government to make coronavirus testing available for free? And while testing is free treatment is not. Only in America.

  150. Yesterday I listened to Donald Trump say he didn't take any responsibility at all for the delays in getting testing in place, because "we inherited a set of rules, and regulations and restrictions" that kept them from doing what needed to be done. And all I could think was, what happened to the "I can do whatever I want" president? Since when did "rules, restrictions and regulations", much less the constitution, stop him from doing anything?

  151. “I don’t take responsibility at all,” Mr. Trump said. Six words. That's all they are. And yet, they incapsulate the entirety of what will be looked back on as the most damaging four years in history of the United States of America.

  152. @N8t Yes, and he also pretended not to know that the sections of the government that normally address these issues had been dismantled. Yet he said only last week, "I don't want to pay people when we don't need them," proving that he is well aware of what he did.

  153. @N8t A person's true character becomes clear in times of crises. Those six words sum up this nasty little man's character to a tee. Pelosi, too, shows her character: there's serious work to be done; no time to waste feeding the pathetic ego and self-interests of this useless fool. I commend Steven Mnuchin for working with her in the interests of the country rather than serving his "president."

  154. I'm yet to see a Republican "solution" that doesn't involve tax cuts.

  155. “I don’t take responsibility at all,” Mr. Trump said. I think most people understand the virus is not Trump’s fault, but his slow rolling, botched response to it IS his responsibility. Remember in November.

  156. Many of the ideas put forth by Trump were initiated in N.Y. State, days and weeks ago! Would have been nice 0f Trump to acknowledge that Governor Andrew Cuomo was ahead of Too Little and Too Late President Trump.

  157. After a terrible initial reaction in an effort to calm our country, and receiving widespread but deserved criticism, Trump has stepped up. In my opinion, and apparently millions of investors in the stock market, he showed admirable leadership in getting the private sector and the public sector working together for an all hands on deck fight against this virus. The drive-by testing is a great solution to crowded hospital emergency rooms and urgent care centers, the virtual doctor visits, the assurances from corporate leaders that testing kits will be available, the promise of some financial relief...all of it was reassuring. And yet, nearly every comment here is negative. The hatred of Trump has stunted all reason from the left. Why isn’t he being tested? Because the clear message coming from the White House is that you need to have some symptoms before the tests will show a positive and the goal is NOT to have people freaked out and demanding tests because they may have been exposed. It would completely overwhelm the system. Why isn’t he “taking responsibility” for the tests not being available? This is a two plus month old virus not one country or any leader was prepared for. No one could been able to predict the contagion of this unknown virus before it actually existed. I have children in health care and the restaurant industry. I am worried about my family even though I feel sure we’ll get through it. But I refuse to get bogged down in hating and blaming.

  158. The GOP fights against the American people’s welfare as the president as usual courts big business. And why are they not in emergency session to pass this package? Amazing how crystal clear and cavalier republicans are with our healthcare as usual.

  159. Will wonders ever cease? Trump works on the principle that "you do what I say, not what I do". His obvious public hand shaking, in the face of science based advice is equivalent to thumbing the experts' cautions. This is a hypothesis only, but I wonder if all those on that Rose Garden display went inside and smothered themselves in Purelle or its equivalent. Yet more realtime evidence of his failures as a true leader.

  160. In this time of duress, we need to circumvent the president and seek answers and leadership from doctors, scientists and health officials. What we don't need are easy fixes, speeches that can best be summarized as events to make him look good and as though he's doing something special to protect all the citizens in our country. We also don't need the bluster and lying that is blaringly evident in his last speech and his declaration of a national emergency. Now is the time for the truth. Each and every person in this country deserves the truth and a clear path to proper testing and avoidance of loss of life, job, food, and housing. Be a man, Mr. President and for the love of God, start telling the truth and caring about someone other than yourself.

  161. Did anyone here ever try applying for unemployment benefits? The process is done (or not, more likely) over the phone or the internet. Don't have the net? The phone offers a delay of 30 to 45 minutes, complete with elevator music, until a humanoid is supposedly about to take your call, then bzzzzt. Disconnect. As to the net? That password does not work, repeatedly. It is designed to fail. And this is in Massachusetts. Ever see the movie "I, Daniel"? It's like that.

  162. We can pass all the legislature we want, but with our hollowed out, gutted, federal government "free" of "red tape" and "regulations", I doubt we can effectively institute the required measures. It's as if this virus was invented to exploit or core structural weaknesses as a society: Broken healthcare, dysfunctional government, weakened central governance, pervasive ignorance, overt religiousness. As we saw in the kabuki theater briefing yesterday, teh government prefer to lie. In a public/private partnership of course. The centerpiece website which is supposed to drive this and was supposedly being developed by Google, doesn't exist and won't exist for some time. The truth is that a small startup with investment from Google is attempting to stand up a trial site for the Bay Area. Maybe sometime next week. The "drive thrus" - the other critical part of the "plan", are currently just parts of parking lots donated by drug store bereft of customers anyway. These won't be functional in Columbia, Missouri for many weeks. The labs which are to do the testing lack the capacity and materials to do any meaningful volume before expiration time for the collected swabs. This is all a lie. Many thousands will die as a result. The leader of the free world refuses to take the test himself and spent his time at the podium shaking hands with the group responsible for handling the Pandemic. We are truly free of any regulation or control.

  163. I watched the President's press conference yesterday. There was a lot of dancing but I still didn't hear anything that made me feel as if our leadership has a clue and was being straight with the American public. They are asking us to shut the country down. Willingly give up our livelihoods for the greater good. They have modeling tell us what it says. They know the cost, ask Congress for the money in a straight forward way and tell the public at the same time. It seems like the White House is utterly clueless. It's almost as if they believe this will magically go away. He might as well have said will the last person leaving please turn the lights out. I just got my census, the government keeps all kinds of statistics on health and economic activity. We have computers. It's as if our Government doesn't even exist. I get that a lot of Trump supporters think it's cute to have a President who makes fun of liberals. The ones who aren't in a hypnotic trance better start thinking about the future of this country. I'm embarrassed by our governments response.

  164. "Democrats agreed to drop a provision that would have created a permanent paid sick leave entitlement in case of a public health emergency. Republicans sought to confine it only to people who were sick or caring for ill family or children kept out of school." This makes me so angry. Republicans do not care about the general welfare of Americans. All they think of is the bottom line profit for private businesses. This party is the reason this country is in such bad shape. They deny that the working classes need help, but will bend over backward to help the spoiled, wealthy donors who support Republicans and keep them in power.

  165. Every American who makes under 60k a year should be eligible for at least a thousand bucks a month of emergency food stamps. Groceries are a huge portion of family budgets. If they get food stamps the money they would normally spend can be used toward other bills. Child care, utilities, gas and car payments, rent and all. People need direct help in their pockets until this pandemic is over. And the food banks should be getting lots of help from the relief aid. Our children, elderly and all people should never ever go hungry.

  166. In a normal ''crisis'', the republican ''cure all'' of take two tax rebates and call me in the morning, helps little. However, when we are dealing with ANY health issue (especially a global pandemic), then a tax rebate of ANY kind is absolutely meaningless. People are dying and need testing first, health care second, and then paid leave so that they can be quarantined at home (if possible) to help limit the spread of the pandemic. Democrats have a MAJORITY in the house and could have held strong and passed what was required, but YET AGAIN, they deferred to republican obstructionism of literally holding the American people's lives hostage. I am MORE THAN disappointed !!

  167. The House, recognizing the emergency, works with the Whitehouse and quickly writes a bill, and passes it. In response to this urgency, Mitch McConnell sends the Senate home for the weekend. It should be abundantly clear by now to people in Kentucky, exactly how much concern McConnell and the Republican Senate have in their welfare. None.

  168. What an irresponsible human this "president" is. Not setting an example for a large section of this nation that is his Base. I feel he's doing this for three reason: One, he fears what the test will reveal. Two, he's pandering to his Anti-Vaccine Base. And Three, he's still propagating the myth that if people don't get tested, even if they get sick, that most will survive and it will just look like a regular flu - so therefore it will look like it's all overblown and he knew it from the beginning. All the rest of us - the majority in this country, basically know we're essentially on our own or look to the leadership demonstrated in The House by Pelosi and also by Dr. Fauci, and even Joe Biden, who gave a well needed and received speech on leadership during this time of crisis. Call me political or whatever you feel you have to but Trump has been making decisions about this crisis based purely on politics and the numbers exploded as a result I believe.

  169. A thought experiment about CoVid 19: Suppose a volcano exploded and geologists and climatologists predicted a global-wide shrouding of the skies putting us all in a social deep freeze for at least 12 months. Would the current administration say that it was simply proof of no global warming and do nothing for four months? Hmmm.

  170. In a normal ''crisis'', the republican ''cure all'' of take two cuts and call me in the morning, helps little. However, when we are dealing with ANY health issue (especially a global pandemic), then a tax cut of ANY kind is absolutely useless. People are dying and need testing first, health care second, and then paid leave so that they can be quarantined at home (if possible) to help limit the spread of the pandemic. Democrats have a MAJORITY in the house and could have held strong and passed what was required, but YET AGAIN, they deferred to republican obstructionism of literally holding the American people's lives hostage. I am MORE THAN disappointed !

  171. Thank you Speaker Pelosi! Your actions speak louder than Trump's untrustworthy and inaccurate words. The American people need to be able to take a break from the misleading "happy talk" and take a needed, paid leave, stay at home "Spring break" to avoid being unnecessarily exposed to the Covid-19 virus. This is the only way not only to really "flatten the curve" but also shorten it by the ultimate in "social distancing" by staying home for two weeks and being with your family, especially with schools and colleges closing. Stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy!

  172. Nancy Pelosi, who in the past has been demonized by the Republican Party, has proved to be the adult in the room. Rather than wasting time trying to score political points by playing the blame game, shirking responsibility, and using public media access to have others sing her praises to the American public, she is willing to compromise and think of. benefitting the American people rather than scoring points.

  173. The President declares a state of emergency and the Senate takes the weekend off before considering relief legislation passed overwhelmingly by the House. Is it just me or is there a massive disconnect here? Is McConnell’s weekend more important than aid to Americans? The man is well past his best before date, vote him out.

  174. Pelosi got 95% of what she wanted. Essentially she was daring the Republicans to vote against it and they folded. It will pass without problem in the senate next week despite the huffing and puffing of McConnell. Trump is now desperately trying to prevent Pelosi getting the credit for showing leadership and passing this measure.

  175. In a normal ''crisis'', the republican ''cure all'' of take two cuts and call me in the morning, helps little. However, when we are dealing with ANY health issue (especially a global pandemic), then a tax cut of ANY kind is absolutely useless. People are dying and need testing first, health care second, and then paid leave so that they can be quarantined at home (if possible) to help limit the spread of the pandemic. Democrats have a MAJORITY in the house and could have held strong and passed what was required, but YET AGAIN, they deferred to republican obstructionism of literally holding the American people's lives hostage. I am MORE THAN disappointed.

  176. In a normal ''crisis'', the republican ''cure all'' of take two tax rebates and call me in the morning, helps little. However, when we are dealing with ANY health issue (especially a global pandemic), then a tax rebate of ANY kind is absolutely meaningless. People are dying and need testing first, health care second, and then paid leave so that they can be quarantined at home (if possible) to help limit the spread of the pandemic. Democrats have a MAJORITY in the house and could have held strong and passed what was required, but YET AGAIN, they deferred to republican obstructionism of literally holding the American people's lives hostage. I am MORE THAN disappointed !

  177. Sabotaging our public institutions by Republicans these past few decades is the cause of our weak and confusing response to this catastrophe. Eliminate supports and infrastructure, and if you can't do that, defund---that has been the Republican playbook for just about every facet of government other than the military and financial world. Our transportation systems are crumbling, as well as our education and healthcare systems. Think about this in November, and whenever you are tempted to vote down everything except tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

  178. It's a bit surprising that they have not delayed the tax deadline a month or so. For those who owe money a delay when maybe they are laid off would be helpful.

  179. “'Good economic policy starts by ensuring that the humans in the economy stay well — and alive — so they can participate in the economy as both producers and consumers,' said Heather Boushey, the president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth." How nice to know that we're being kept alive only so we can contribute to the economy--an economy where the lion's share of wealth goes to a small elite.

  180. Mayor De Blasio of NYC is making a colossal mistake keeping the NYC schools open. This will ensure that the virus continues to spread unabated and exponentially, in NYC. He is beholden to the idea that the New York City schools must serve as daycare centers so that healthcare workers can go to work, or so that needy kids can eat. They need to find alternate arrangements so that these needs can be met that don't involve millions of other kids and adults unnecessarily. My sister is a NYC public school teacher who is just recovering from cancer and is immunocompromised, and must care for our elderly mother. I am appalled that she is being exposed to this virus because of De Blasio's stubbornness and unwillingness to adapt to new circumstances. Cuomo should override this nonsense and close the schools. And Cuomo was wrong to state that just because kids don't get sick we are unsure whether they spread it: they do spread it. Accept the facts.

  181. As a physician, I couldn't help laughing at Trump, who has been clearly in close contact with at least one person and probably more who has tested positive for coronavirus, ignoring the recommendations not to take hands and proceeding to do so with multiple people at his press conference. Perhaps Corona Donald will eclipse the notoriety of Typhoid Mary in communicable disease infamy.

  182. Will people who are hourly contractors get any relief under this bill? I am an hourly contractor. I am not an employee of any of the many places I work. Almost all of my work is already gone. Will I get any relief. Is there any rent relief in this? Is NYC going to have any rent relief?

  183. In a normal ''crisis'', the republican ''cure all'' of take two tax rebates and call me in the morning, helps little. However, when we are dealing with ANY health issue (especially a global pandemic), then a tax rebate of ANY kind is absolutely meaningless. People are dying and need testing first, health care second, and then paid leave so that they can be quarantined at home (if possible) to help limit the spread of the pandemic. Democrats have a MAJORITY in the house and could have held strong and passed what was required, but YET AGAIN, they deferred to republican obstructionism of literally holding the American people's lives hostage. I am MORE THAN disappointed!

  184. The House put it in high gear to develop and approve aid to working families during a national emergency, and Mitch McConnell decides to take a long weekend? I guess his golf game is more important than American families in need. Time to ditch Mitch.

  185. No one is saying what the GOP got in this bill. What did corporate America get? Corporate America is all Trump and the GOP care about as evidenced by him posing with them in a vulgar photo op. Vote them out!

  186. Why don’t we bring in the Chinese crews that built those hospitals in a week or 10 days?

  187. @kaydayjay Don't forget to bring in the crew that built the building which collapsed. It was 2 or 3 years old. Building regulations are so socialistic.

  188. Yeah then they can watch and wait around in bewilderment as everyone fights having that kind of construction anywhere near them until the virus has passed.

  189. After gloating about his propped up 0.1% tax-cut stock market bubble and his minimum wage economy and attacking the Federal Reserve for months and attacking the ACA for years, someone tapped Trump on the shoulder and informed him that there's actually a HUGE public healthy emergency and that it's not a 'Democratic hoax'. So now Trump wants us to believe that he's laser-focused on defeating this virus. Wait until Trump finds how many Americans are also laser-focused on defeating the Trumpvirus. America has had enough of this Presidential charlatan and his award-winning cast of creeps, cretins and cravens.

  190. Here's the news that should be broadcast all day on TV, Radio, Social Media. Washing hands is critical but in between washings… DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE! It's habit but you can stop. We are infecting ourselves. We are sticking the virus into our bodies… With our fingers. By touching our face. The virus is microscopic. 900 times smaller than a human hair. It can only get in your system by entering at an opening in your body. What are those openings? Your mouth. Your eyes. Your nose. Your ears. (I assume also a fresh break in your skin but that's not common) What do all these openings have in common? They are all on your FACE. So, you shake hands with a person who has the virus. He has coughed into his hand. Or you touch the handle of a door that has virus on it. It DOESN'T MATTER if the virus is now on your hands if you don't touch the openings on your face! More specifically, it's your fingertips that you touch things with and then stick them in the openings. Think about it. Fingertips! When my nose itches I grab a tissue to scratch it or use the back of my hand. Fingertips in our face. We are infecting ourselves. Assuming someone does not cough the virus into your face it's your choice not to stick your potentially virus laden fingertips in the openings of your face. Make public service commercials NOW that educate and remind us that we have power to resist the virus. Wash hands often and: DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE! Hard. Not impossible.

  191. I have been experiencing symptoms, and I tried to go get tested yesterday. Here’s what happened: 1. I tried to call my doctor to get tested & he told me to call LA county health. 2. I called LA county health & they told me to call my doctor. 3. Called my doctor again & they told me to call LA County health again. 4. Called LA county health again & they told me a physician had to sign off on me before I could get tested. I told them that didn’t make any sense if my doctor wouldn’t see me. 5. I gave up on LA county health (VERY unhelpful) & Called UCLA emergency room. From there, I got transferred FIVE times & the last time I was transferred was to a voicemail. I left a message at around 10:45a yesterday, & they NEVER called me back. I can hear my neighbor in the upstairs apartment hacking out their lung. I want to check on them, but I am not supposed to leave my apartment since I’m sick. I am immunocompromised & have been displaying symptoms for about 3 days now. It hurts to breathe. I’m coughing. I’ve had a low grade fever for two days now. I’m scared. There’s a huge war of misinformation out there, & I don’t know how to fight it or what to do about it. I’m so angry with Trump for not doing more. We need to FLATTEN this curve, make people stay in, enforce regulations, & allow for open testing. I feel alone in a sea of misinformation & mistrust. &, I blame Trump’s incompetence for most of that.

  192. @Brooke Baron "I feel alone in a sea of misinformation & mistrust. &, I blame Trump’s incompetence for most of that". Maybe LA county health and your doctor should call the CDC to get a clue.

  193. Now we have an even better look at the pathetic job this administration did to support and rebuild Puerto Rico. Trump didn’t care and never made an effort - other to throw some paper towels to a room full of residents. Maybe he can visit that retirement center in Kirkland, WA and toss some MAGA hats to the seniors who are still alive.

  194. Washington State Governor Inslee has been responding with measures to reduce the spread of the virus - pre-emptively shutting schools and most public spaces, amongst many others. He is still, I believe, considered "a snake" by the imPOTUS, whose border and customs folks, according to today's NYTimes, are still not monitoring incoming airline passengers from "hot zones". The Dithering Narcissist, who delayed and obfuscated for so long, will be personally responsible for many thousands of deaths. Quick note to the cultists in the GOP and FOX - Covid-19 is no respecter of borders or delusion; when the mortality rates elevate, every word you've spoken that makes light of the seriousness of the virus (or worse, indulges and encourages political paranoia) will not be forgotten. Shame on you all.

  195. Democrats and Pelosi are so weak. They shouldn't have voted until Trump resigned. We don't need the Fed to further debase the currency, there are already bubbles everywhere. People need aid, not the Wall Street casinos.

  196. Trump continued his lies yesterday. Google is not building out some national app that will be available Sunday. People are still not getting tested (unless you are a Republican politician or celebrity). At some point the lies will catch up as the bodies start to pile up, even his base will feel the pain and when they do, when the chickens come home to roost: he won't be able to Tweet and lie his way out of this.

  197. Forty Republicans voted against the American public. The 40 are always the same crazies who will gab about deficits but voted for the tax cuts for the wealthy. Figure that one out. They will probably be reelected since their voters love to be taken for granted and laughed at.

  198. Question: How will the family leave and sick leave be funded? Will the employer be responsible, or will the government be responsible? If the second, how does one apply? Teun O.

  199. @Teun Ott How will the family leave and sick leave be funded? I would bet that employees who are lucky enough to work for corporations will continue to be paid for time not worked and corporations will be able to claim funds from the government for expenses that they might have paid anyway. So, the answer is that the corporations will get the money. Self-employed and unemployed get nothing.

  200. @Teun Ott I was going to give a serious answer to your questions until I say your last one. There's something drastically wrong with you.

  201. I heard that there is this evil totalitarian nation that actually offers free treatment for corona. Does the free testing come with any necessary treatment here or is that simply too totalitarian?

  202. I have no idea if what the House passed will be enough. We haven't gotten real numbers from the President who obviously has the data on how this will impact our economy. What can't be denied is Trump proposed a tax cut that actually takes money out of the hands of workers and gives it back to their employers. Trump willingly is using an international health crisis to strip US workers of their SS benefits and give them to their employer. Imagine if we hadn't gotten a Democratic majority in the House in 2018. Where would we be right now? Democrats and independents better wake up. November is coming. Stop the purity test and kick these right wing maniacs to the curb.

  203. Thank you Speaker Pelosi for quickly drafting a good bill with lots of input. Thank you Senate Majority Leader McConnell for cancelling the Senate recess scheduled for this week so it can vote on the Speaker’s bill. If that sounds snarky it is.

  204. Just imagine if we had republican majority in house as well. McCarthy would also be standing behind him in Rose Garden nodding his head. Something to keep in mind in November.

  205. I'd like to call attention to the fact that Rep. Jim Jordan voted against the relief bill. People should remember that. Thanks to the NY Times for publishing the vote roster.

  206. @rshapley I hope we remember all who voted no. let their constituents know on election day.

  207. Your coverage is seriously lacking, and you are falling down on the job in a time of public crisis. Where is the mention of this: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted McConnell's leadership. "It was remarkably irresponsible and out of touch for Sen. McConnell to send senators out of town in the middle of a public health crisis before the House passed this vital people-focused legislation," Schumer said. "Sen. McConnell and Republicans should pass this legislation as is immediately."

  208. @Jay Strickler, Yes, all well and good. But then the Democrats capitulated to the Republicans without a fight.

  209. @Jay Strickler "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted McConnell's leadership". So much for putting politics aside. Schumer knows the senate vote is a mere formality and we all know Schumer loves to grandstand. Hardly newsworthy unless you're a partisan hack.

  210. Senator McConnell, healthcare workers have taken no weekend off, and millions of service workers are already without pay. You have a duty to take up this spending proposal this weekend. All senators need to be connected via WebEx or Zoom or whatever......having the weekend off is completely unacceptable. You have a sworn duty to protect the citizens of this country. It is time that you, for the first time in your political life, do the right thing! This is perhaps your final chance to pull off a favorable last chapter in your biography!

  211. The Senate went home!!?? Mitch feels no urgency? Americans don’t deserve even a gesture of personal sacrifice from his chamber? While POTUS ignores all public Health imperatives and models an immature teenagers posturing (slathered in self-praise)-pretending he is too tough to worry about handshakes or community contagion- the Republican controlled Senate delays yet another crucial action so they can have a weekend off. The majority of citizens are making great sacrifices& accommodations to help their communities and the nation ‘flatten the curve’ of oncoming severe illness. Trump, McConnell & Kushner (seeking advice from social media as if his ignorance leads him to imagine he can fake expertise with unfiltered popular opinion!) have obstructed or contaminated truthful competence, delaying crucial, decisive action. History will judge them...the needless deaths of citizens they are fumbled to protect will overshadow their boasts and propaganda. They have shamefully prioritized swagger over sound governance.

  212. In a normal ''crisis'', the republican ''cure all'' of take two cuts and call me in the morning, helps a little. However, when we are dealing with ANY health issue (especially a global pandemic), then a tax cut of ANY kind is absolutely useless. People are sick and need testing first, health care second, and then paid sick leave so that they can be quarantined at home (if possible) to help limit the spread of the disease. Democrats have a MAJORITY in the house and could have held strong and passed what was required, but YET AGAIN, they caved to republican obstructionism of literally holding the American people's lives hostage. I am MORE THAN disappointed.

  213. @FunkyIrishman I agree. The Democrats are still working around the edges, self censoring. I got the impression that Nancy Pelosi and the others have been more concerned with leaving town than working to dig us out of the mess the country is in. First on my agenda would be to work on reversing the tax cuts and redirecting those funds back into healthcare infrastructure and the health and safety of all Americans. I'm also strongly in favor of the $1000 plus $500 per child payments (as featured in that left-wing rag the Wall Street Journal) as a way to soften the blow for all Americans, not just those with regular jobs. The GOP is standing in the way of the health and well being for our most vulnerable people, particularly the elderly and children who are at risk of losing their daily meals. The Democrats have to stay and fight this, not worry about their own vacations.

  214. @FunkyIrishman Caved? What do you mean? They can't force the Republicans to care about the common good. Even Amash, despite having left the Republican party, voted 'PRESENT'. I don't know what those Republicans who voted NAY think they're doing on behalf of the country. The hourly workers lose their pay when the economy tanks. We should dock the pay of Congress when it does nothing, and use those funds to aid the suffering.

  215. @FunkyIrishman Passing a bill thru the House doesn't make it law. Both the Senate & the President have to agree. Did you not know this? If you're that ignorant you should stop talking and start listening. If you did know it why did you write what you did? Do you really think right now is the time to have a big political fight? Let's say we Dems "won" that fight & got McConnell & Trump to go along with exactly what we want. How many people would die because of the delay? How many extra deaths would you be okay with? You're way past 'funky'. I don't think the Times would print my epithet for you.

  216. Information flow from those who know is critically important. I have seen one large gap in what has been published. We know that young people do very well with corona, its the elderly who do badly. If that true why would we want to close schools? DeBlasio has articulated many reasons not to close them.Two important reasons are that some children get a major part of their nutrition in schools, and another is that closing schools greatly increases the economic hit society takes when there is no effective daycare, making the parents stay home. There is also another factor to consider in favor of shutting schools, which I have not seen mentioned in NYT, although it is clearly not rocket science as many friends have mentioned it to me. The consideration is that closing schools slows crowd spread among school children. They wont die nor will their parents. However the grandparents will die if they have any contact with children or parents. Thus, closing schools is certainly a good way to flatten the curve.

  217. @WHM Answer - speed of community spread. The asymptomatic person who is spreading the virus is the source of new clusters - kids are a key cohort. Ideally the inevitable rise in infections would be kept slow through social distancing, hygiene, etc. If the spike is fast, this will overwhelm the high level care needed for the sickest patients. If the rate of infection can be moderated, even if the same number get the virus, it is less likely that high level care needs will be overwhelmed. On an individual basis - wash your hands frequently, don't touch your face.

  218. Finally, a step by Congress to show Bipartisan concern for the impact of this outbreak on those in need. I am 72 , have social security & retirement, Medicare and a home. I can weather the disruption caused in my life. My son, 49, has lived with schizophrenia for 30 years. His life's path was disrupted years ago. He works minimum wage (Temp Service) jobs, has no health insurance (we live in Texas), depends on public transportation and in the past year has moved over 5 times. Let's get real here. In good times those with disabilities have a safety net with huge holes in it. Now, there is not one. The House legislation is a start.

  219. I find it quite telling, and interesting that Mr. Trump wanted to give ordinary citizens substantial payroll tax relief. I don't know if this was/is an election ploy, but I also find it even more telling for the resistance it faced especially among Democrats. Am I the only one who finds it odd that every time for whatever reason something that would benefit ordinary people is always too expensive? We had no problem spending close to 3 trillion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan wars, lavish another 1.7 trillion on financial institutions deemed too big to fail, and tax breaks for those who don't need them that will generate trillions more in future debt. With all that(in my opinion) unnecessary spending, there is always a problem taking care of the general public. We really need to look more closely at our leaders who profess to have our best interests at heart. From where I sit, it does not seem to be the case.

  220. It appears you are looking for a way to blame Democrats for something. Trump has rubbed off!

  221. @Bill Your payrole tax deduction is NOT going to pay for your leave from work should you contract COVID19

  222. Mexican Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said contagion from the United States was a threat. "If it were technically necessary to consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance we would have to take into account not that Mexico would bring the virus to the United States, rather that the United States could bring it here," he told a news conference."

  223. Given the ever-lengthening distance of Trump's probosis, would it not be prudent to clear all spaces within any sweep of that nose? Public health measure #87.

  224. Anyone in the military in the 60’s is probably familiar with medicinal APC, widely dispensed at sickbays everywhere. For career civilians who never had the “pleasure”, APC is the bitter, liquid, codeine laced, All Purpose Cure. Migraine? APC. Hernia? APC. Heart attack? APC. Obviously, republicans are students of history. No matter the ailment, there’s the Republican APC. Failing economy? Tax cuts. Warming climate? Tax cuts. Shift in Gulf Stream? Tax cuts. Pandemic? Tax cuts. Most of we vets remember the temporary buzz and we survived. The country, not so much.

  225. Seems to me that Pelosi has betrayed workers. The bill states that in order to get paid leave, workers must first take their first 14 days of leave as vacation days, and then they'll get paid leave for the second 14 days. Additionally, "paid" leave means workers will receive only 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, not full pay. So those who don't get paid vacation days are truly left out in the cold. Uncaring republican legislators win again!

  226. @cynic2 And the GOP would have simply cut payrole taxes, thus cutting funding for Social Security. At least with the Dems bill, workers may get some relief if they have to stay home from work.

  227. You misspelled “McConnell”. Pelosi betrayed no one. It was this or nothing.

  228. @cynic2 Maybe she had to cave to those terms to keep the Republicans abortion language out of the bill.

  229. I am glad they finally passed this bill it will help some, however it is too little too late. Dumbo in chief is more concerned with the economy and looking good rather than making sure all states have adequate tests available now.They should have been on this a month ago. Without adequate testing, and isolating the positive patients, this virus is spreading already. People are still traveling between states. Many more people are getting exposed without even knowing what's happening, and the mob scenes at the Costco stores are a good example of what not to do. I did a delivery order with them even if it cost more for that service. I am hunkering down as much as possible and avoiding lots of people.

  230. Sick leave "for those affected by the crisis"... I wonder if this means you will need to verify your test result came back positive. Oh wait, that means you have to have gotten a test. Good luck with that.

  231. I appreciate very much the hard work of the House, but I will not trust this until Trump actually signs it. We've seen him promise to sign legislation then refuse to do so before. It's really too bad that we have a president whose numerous lies render him totally untrustworthy.

  232. Ian Johnson's column in the paper put it succinctly. China provided two month of warning. POTUS down played it, calling it hoax, less severe than flue,etc. No preparation, lot of confusion and frustration. Hope the voters keep it mind come November. This administration has to go.

  233. You gotta pick up another newspaper. At least once in awhile.