Democrats are calling on Trump to include paid sick leave for workers in any economic package to fight the coronavirus

Democrats are calling on Trump to include paid sick leave for workers in any economic package to fight the coronavirus
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer are calling on Trump to include an extension of paid sick leave for workers under quarantine or working parents in any economic package aimed at fighting the coronavirus.

  • "We are hoping to work with the administration on a coordinated, government-wide plan to respond to the coronavirus," the top Democrats said.

  • They are also seeking stronger unemployment insurance and additional food stamp benefits.

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Congressional Democrats are calling on President Trump to include an extension of paid sick leave in any legislative package aimed at shoring up the coronavirus-stricken economy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer unveiled a list of their priorities to improve the livelihoods of workers hardest hit by the outbreak.

"We are hoping to work with the administration on a coordinated, government-wide plan to respond to the coronavirus," the top Democrats said in the statement.

They went on: "However, President Trump continues to manufacture needless chaos within his administration and it is hampering the government's response to the coronavirus outbreak."

Among the priorities Schumer and Pelosi argue should be contained in any fiscal package to boost the economy are:

  • Paid sick leave for people under quarantine or working parents caring for children impacted by school closures.

  • Better unemployment insurance for workers who lose their jobs.

  • Expanded SNAP and WIC benefits to boost food stamps.

  • Widespread, free coronavirus testing.

  • Protections against price-gouging and boosted capacity for the US medical system.

"The administration must move more quickly and seriously to address the severe impacts of the coronavirus on the financial security of America's families," Schumer and Pelosi said.

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Some experts say that boosting access to paid sick leave for workers could help the spread of the virus. Around a quarter of all US workers have no paid sick days, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows

Only a dozen states require employers to pay workers when they stay home ill, which often includes those in part-time jobs.

So far, the Trump administration is weighing an economic response that includes tax relief for airliners and other industries that are hard hit by the virus' spread.

But they're coming under pressure to react more decisively as more coronavirus infections are reported within the US and around the globe, shaking global supply chains and sending stock markets into a tailspin.

As of Monday morning, the coronavirus has infected more than 110,000 people in at least 105 countries beyond China, its point of origin. The death toll has surpassed 3,800 people, mostly in China. In the US, there are 554 reported coronavirus cases and 11 people have died.

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