COVID-19: House Passes (Updated) CARES Act (Phase III COVID-19 Stimulus); Next Step: President’s Signature
The House passed, by a voice vote, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) – the third in a series of bills intended to enhance the federal government and health care system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while providing economic relief to individuals and businesses (WHG summary here). The bill now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.
During her weekly press conference (March 26), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted that House Democrats will “be taking the lead” on developing a fourth package. She provided a few details on what may be addressed in the package. They include:
- No cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment;
- Health care worker protections;
- More funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and
- Additional flexibility to family and medical leave.
House Democrats’ Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act (H.R. 6379) – a package of proposals intended to bolster the federal government’s response to COVID-19, as well as provide economic relief to individuals and business introduced earlier this week – will likely serve as a blueprint for forthcoming legislation (WHG summary here).
The timing of the fourth package remains unclear. The Senate has adjourned for recess until April 20, though Senate Majority Leader stated the chamber would convene “if circumstances require the Senate to return for a vote sooner than April 20.” The House will also be in recess for the next several weeks.