COVID-19 Update | Friday, March 13 (PM)
March 13, 2020
- The President, this afternoon, declared a National Emergency as provided by the Stafford Act.
- This move unlocks FEMA’s disaster relief fund, which has a balance of more than $50 billion, to help accelerate the response to the Coronavirus.
- In addition, the President announced that he is waiving interest that accrues on all federal student loans until further notice.
- This will provide monetary relief to more than 42 million Americans who owe money on their federal student loans.
- The President also indicated that the Coronavirus testing website, which is being built by Google, will go live Sunday night.
- The website will help screen Americans to determine if they need to be tested, and also direct them to the nearest testing site, if necessary.
- The President also stated that the Administration will be putting out a document summarizing the Administration’s steps and efforts to date, and noted that other actions would be forthcoming.
- As for negotiations on the House package, Speaker Pelosi held a press conference this afternoon in which she outlined the package the House plans to pass today, which we provided earlier today.
- Speaker Pelosi did not indicate that a deal had been reached with the Administration. It is being reported that negotiations are ongoing.
- The President also mentioned that the Administration is not yet comfortable with the legislation and that conversations continue.
- Another announcement on the House bill is expected soon, but timing of a vote is still unclear.