Today on the Hill: Washington Weighs Additional Coronavirus Response

The Trump administration, along with Congressional lawmakers, are weighing potential options to counteract an economic downturn as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During a press conference yesterday, President Donald Trump stated that he plans to propose payroll tax relief, as well as assistance for hourly-wage workers that are impacted by the effects of the outbreak. Meanwhile, lawmakers are mulling other options that currently enjoy bipartisan support — including an expanded paid leave benefit and food assistance for recipients of free and reduced-cost meals at school — and could formulate into a legislative response as soon as this week, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Outside of the Washington, the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will continue today as six states — ID, MI, MS, MO, ND, and WA — are holding primary contests. Recent polling indicates that Former Vice President Joe Biden is well-positioned in each of the six states to add to his delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). With 1,991 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, Vice President Biden currently leads the field with 664 delegates, followed by Sen. Sanders at 573.

On the floor today, Senators will resume consideration of the bipartisan energy package after it failed to earn enough support to end debate yesterday. Senators could not agree on a procedural motion that would’ve set up a vote on final passage after the upper chamber got tripped up on an issue pertaining to industrial use of hydrofluorocarbons. In the House, lawmakers will consider four bills under suspension of the rules.