House sends amended coronavirus relief bill to Senate

Posted at 7:28 AM, Mar 17, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coronavirus relief bill is in the U.S. Senate’s hands now that technical corrections have been approved by the House of Representatives, NBC News and USA Today report.

Monday night, the House passed an amended version of the bill that addresses the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to soften the economic blow that many Americans will feel as the country practices social distancing.

A group of about 40 Republicans had voted against the original bill, which has been endorsed by President Donald Trump. The GOP lawmakers said there wasn’t adequate time to debate the implications of the legislation.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, was among them. He held up the process because he insisted on reading the corrections.

"Unfortunately, now that it has passed the House, we will find out what this bill actually does," Gohmert said in a statement. "Hopefully, the Senate will take the time to clean up the damage our bill caused and not just rubber-stamp it, so I can vote for the bill that they send back to the House."

The benefits in the bill include free coronavirus testing, expanded family and medical leave for some, paid emergency sick leave for some, unemployment benefits, food assistance, and protections for health care workers, according to NBC News.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the measure is expected to pass the Senate floor, but it’s unclear at this time when the Senate will hold a vote.