President Donald Trump signed an economic relief bill to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The bill will ensure free testing and paid leave for certain workers, hours after the Senate passed the measure on Wednesday. Lawmakers overwhelmingly voted 90-8 in favor of the “phase two” stimulus measure. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the bill will cost $100 billion.
The economic relief bill ensures free COVID-19 testing, bolsters unemployment insurance, increases spending on health insurance for the poor and adds $1 billion in food aid. The agreement includes paid sick days for some employees, as well as three months of paid emergency leave throughout the course of the coronavirus crisis. To help offset the costs for employers, businesses would be reimbursed for some of these costs through tax credits. However those businesses with more than 500 employees are exempted from offering their employees paid sick leave or family leave under the bill.
Congress is already working on another relief package, with Sen. Mitch McConnell vowing earlier in the week that the Senate will ensure a third relief package is on the president’s desk shortly.
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