Trump declares emergency, Hill conversations ongoing
President Donald Trump today declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency as conversations continued between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on a bill to help Americans cope with the outbreak.
The national emergency designation opens up $50 billion to help state and local governments and allows the government to take certain other actions, but does not seem to have any direct impact on agriculture or food assistance.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said negotiations are still going on between Pelosi and the administration over a bill that would make it easier to feed low-income children who are out of school and for low income people to get assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
About 3 p.m. EDT, Hoyer said, “The House is currently in recess subject to the call of the chair. Members are advised that conversations are ongoing with the administration regarding legislation related to the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Votes are expected in the House today,” Hoyer said. “Further information regarding the exact timing of votes will be announced as soon as it becomes available.”
The Senate is gone for the weekend, but will return Monday and is expected to address the pandemic at that time.
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The House Democatic Caucus on Thursday approved the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee’s recommendation of Rep. David Scott, R-Ga., as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.