March 10, 2020 / 3:02 PM / 19 days ago

Coronavirus outbreak requires paid sick leave, food aid for families: House Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Democrats on Tuesday said any federal economic assistance during the coronavirus outbreak must help people most directly impacted by the disease, not the wealthy, and that any package would not be ready this week.

Potential aid should include paid sick leave, enhanced unemployment insurance, food security and affordable testing and treatment, House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark told reporters at a news conference.

“The American people are the ones who will need the relief if Congress acts, not the millionaires, not the billionaires, not the multi-national corporations,” said U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the caucus’ chairman. “We need to put families first.”

Jeffries added that more details would come out in coming days.

U.S. Representative Don Beyer, a Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee and joint economic panel, said their legislative package was still being crafted and that no vote was expected this week.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell, writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot

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