House passes emergency coronavirus aid; Stefanik supports

Updated: Mar. 14, 2020 at 11:47 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - 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.

The aid package from Congress would provide free tests, sick pay for workers and bolster food programs. It also includes boosts to unemployment coverage nationwide; extra money for food assistance programs; and a temporary increase in what the federal government pays for Medicaid.

The vote early Saturday morning came after President Trump and House speaker Nancy Pelosi reached agreement on what to include in the package.

“I voted in favor of this bipartisan legislative package to support North Country families during this public health emergency as we face and beat COVID-19," north country congresswoman Elise Stefanik said in a statement.

The Senate is expected to take up the legislation sometime next week.

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