WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has approved legislation to provide direct relief to Americans suffering physically, financially and emotionally from the coronavirus pandemic.
The action comes after President Donald Trump declared the outbreak a national emergency, freeing up money and resources to fight it, then threw his support behind the congressional package.
Still, he's denied any responsibility for delays in making testing available for the new virus, whose spread has roiled markets and disrupted the lives of everyday Americans.
The aid package from Congress would provide free tests, sick pay for workers and bolster food programs. The crush of activity caps a tumultuous week in Washington.
Republican Representative Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota's 1st Congressional District voted for the bill.
“This bill is an important step toward protecting seniors, children, families and veterans against the spread of COVID-19. I will continue to keep in regular contact with federal health authorities and medical experts at Mayo Clinic to keep my constituents informed about access to COVID-19 testing and employment and health benefit resources available from federal and state agencies,” said Hagedorn in a statement released by his office.
Wisconsin 3rd District Representative Ron Kind also voted in favor of the legislation.
“It is critically important that every Wisconsinite is able to be tested for COVID-19 free of charge. This legislation ensures that no one will have to worry about out-of-pocket expenses for testing and gives every American the ability to stay home when sick without having to worry about missing a paycheck,” said Rep. Ron Kind in a statement. “This is a first step towards protecting working families against the financial impact that COVID-19 may have.”