Trump-backed coronavirus relief package will protect American workers: Mnuchin

Paid sick leave and free testing are among the key benefits of the Families First CoronaVirus Response Act

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday night that the Trump administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have an agreement on a coronavirus relief bill that includes emergency paid sick leave and free testing for Americans.

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“We have an agreement that reflects what the president talked about in his speech the other night,” Mnuchin said on FOX Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” “He’s very focused on making sure that we can deal with the coronavirus, that people who have to be home quarantined, that hard-working Americans don’t lose their compensation because they have to be home quarantined.”

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Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were in talks throughout the day on the coronavirus relief bill. The package includes a host of initiatives to aid in response efforts, including free coronavirus testing for all Americans, emergency paid sick leave benefits and enhanced food assistance programs for those in need.

Mnuchin said benefits in the package for small businesses were “just for companies that are 500 and smaller.”

“Obviously we expect the bigger corporations to pick up these costs,” he said.

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Members of the House were set to vote on the coronavirus package on Friday night. If the vote passes, the Senate is expected to take up a vote on Monday.

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President Trump signaled his support for the bill, dubbed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” in a series of tweets on Friday night. Earlier in the day, Trump declared a national state of emergency, unlocking billions of dollars in emergency funds to aid response efforts.

After days of market declines, The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 2,000 points in trading Friday. Mnuchin said Trump’s call for expanded coronavirus testing through coordination with the private sector likely buoyed investors.

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Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens will offer coronavirus testing centers.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WMTWALMART INC.109.58-0.24-0.22%
TGTTARGET CORP.94.74-1.33-1.38%
CVSCVS HEALTH CORPORATION58.60+0.29+0.50%
WBAWALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.44.00-1.67-3.66%

“We also want to make sure that people can get free testing,” Mnuchin said. “The president wants lots of testing. I think one of the things the market responded very positively to was the president has made just enormous progress with all these big companies coming in and saying they’ll do testing."

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