On Capitol Hill, Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander blocked a motion to immediately pass legislation that would guarantee 14 days of paid sick leave to workers during public health emergencies. This comes as Democrats in the House of Representatives prepare to debate a package of bills Thursday to give workers 14 days paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. The bill also includes funding for low-income mothers and pregnant people who may be laid off due to coronavirus, $400 billion for local food banks and free coronavirus testing for all those who need it, including those without insurance.
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public health emergency in the nation’s capital, where there have been 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus. One of them is a staffer for Washington Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell. Congressional leaders have agreed to severely restrict public access to Capitol Hill, and Senator Cantwell has closed her D.C. and Seattle offices and has ordered her staff to work remotely.