House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late Friday negotiators have reached agreement with the White House on a bill to speed up testing for the coronavirus, and to help families facing economic problems if they fall ill.
“We are proud to have reached an agreement with the Administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Pelosi wrote in a dear colleague letter.
The status of the negotiations between the administration and Pelosi had been unclear. During a press conference earlier to declare a national emergency over the coronavirus, President Trump said “We don’t think the Democrats are giving enough,” CNN reported.
However, late Friday Trump tweeted that he supports the bill and plans to sign it once it passes both the House and Senate.
In the agreement “we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured,” Pelosi wrote. In addition, the agreement calls for paid emergency leave, with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave.
Efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus have forced school closures, the cancelation of professional and college sports events, the closer of Disney theme parks and more, prompting fears of a recession in the U.S. and around the world.
U.S. stocks fell sharply in volatile trading this week, although they rallied back sharply Friday after Trump declared the emergency, freeing up billions of dollars in economic aid.
In Friday's rally, the S&P 500 rose 230.38 points, or 9.3%, to end at 2,711.02. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1,985 points, or 9.4%, to end at 23,185.62. The Nasdaq Composite rose 673.07, or 9.4%, to end at 7874.88.