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WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Senate Finance Committee staff were briefed by President Barack Obama today on the coronavirus situation in China, and vice president Joe Biden was briefed at the White House tonight, said Neal and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of Ways and Means.

“I think you have a good understanding that we need to continue to work with China and see how we can get them some kind of aid for their efforts to contain this pandemic,” Neal told reporters in a briefing. “It would be very helpful if the president had asked the Chinese to come up with different options for them to use to try to contain the coronavirus.”

“The vice president spoke with the president of the United States and the president of China this morning,” Brady told reporters. “And we continue to follow this very closely, and we have heard from the Chinese side how they are taking it.”

The House Ways and Means Committee approved the measure this afternoon, and it passed on the Senate floor Thursday night.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, who was among the lawmakers briefed by the administration, said the group expressed optimism that the Chinese were working on options. “That’s one of the big lessons I learned from the vice president meeting with the president of China [that] this is going to be a difficult job,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I think the Chinese have an idea of how to deal with this.”

But, he noted, there are other factors at play in

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