Canindia News

US Senate passes Bill to expand paid leave amid COVID-19

Washington, March 19 (IANS) The US Senate has approved a House-passed Bill to expand paid sick leave, enhance unemployment insurance, and ensure free testing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The upper chamber on Wednesday approved the plan in a 90-8 vote, sending it to US President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law. Two Republican senators didn’t vote as they are undergoing self-quarantine after exposure to people tested positive for the virus, Xinhua reported.

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said prior to the voting that he will support the House’s proposal, though arguing that “it does not help enough Americans, and, crucially, it adds even more uncertainty for small businesses”.

The House Bill, which was passed on Saturday, includes measures to make sure that businesses with fewer than 500 employees offer two weeks of paid sick leave to their workers, enhance unemployment insurance, boost funding for food assistance programs, as well as ensure free testing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said Tuesday that the bill was about many things but “first and foremost” testing, urging Senators to pass the legislation as soon as possible.

Pelosi also called on large employers and corporations to “step up to the plate” and offer paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave to their workers, noting that she doesn’t support US taxpayers’ money subsidising corporations on that.

Calling the Bill a “first step”, McConnell said lawmakers are moving rapidly to roll out a broader stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

At a White House news briefing on Tuesday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is working with lawmakers on a “significant” economic stimulus plan, which includes support measures for small businesses, airlines and hotels, as well as potential cash payments for working Americans.

The Trump administration had proposed a total aid package of $850 billion, but discussions later included spending as much as $1.2 trillion, Bloomberg reported earlier, citing people familiar with the matter.

–IANS

vin

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN

Morgan Freeman looks back at ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ journey

Uzbekistan mulls to purchase 300 electric city buses

HK reports 12 new Covid-19 cases

Aussie Health Minister renews call for easing Covid curbs

Ganguly has assured me India will tour Australia: Aus cricket boss

Kyrghyz Prez resigns following weeks of unrest (Ld)

London to face tougher Covid-19 curbs

Ex-Trump lawyer writes 2nd book on Justice Dept

Police searches French Health Minister’s residence

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Stay up to date with the latest news and exclusive offers directly in your inbox