President Donald Trump and Republican leaders on Tuesday agreed to introduce legislation to lift restrictions on the use of hearing aids, as part of a push to ease the strain of the pandemic.
The White House and the House GOP said the legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks, would provide the first steps toward a bill that would allow the use and use of the devices by all people, not just those with chronic hearing loss.
The move was aimed at highlighting the health care costs of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed nearly 6,000 people in the U.S. as of Wednesday.
It also comes as the president is weighing whether to take executive action to ease restrictions on some types of hearing devices.
Trump has been weighing whether or not to sign a bill to allow people with chronic, hard-to-treat hearing loss to buy hearing aids.
But there is little consensus on whether to loosen restrictions on hearing aids in general or for those with specific hearing problems.
On Tuesday, Trump said that he is weighing both whether to allow individuals with a hearing problem to purchase hearing aids or whether to ban the use.
But he didn’t specify which kind of hearing device he would consider banning.
Trump is expected in coming days to unveil a plan to allow hearing aid sales.
The administration has said that the new restrictions are needed to help combat the pandemics’ impact on the economy.
In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump asked him to sign the bill and put it on his desk, the White House said.
Ryan’s office declined to comment.
“The president has made clear that he intends to sign this legislation,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
“It is important for Congress to get this done as quickly as possible so that Americans with hearing loss can get the care they need and that Americans across the country can continue to enjoy the benefits of this great healthcare program.”
Trump has also called for a waiver for some people with the disease.
The bill would exempt from the restrictions for individuals with “specific” hearing problems who also have chronic hearing problems and can’t tolerate hearing aids and who meet other requirements.
A waiver could also be used for certain individuals with other conditions such as autism or Crohn’s disease.
Trump said on Twitter that he’s looking into the waiver.
The president also has expressed support for a plan that would grant individuals with hearing problems the ability to use their hearing aids for “excess periods of time.”
In the letter to Ryan, Sanders wrote that the president has been “looking into the use by individuals with specific (hearing loss) conditions of a waiver” and is “looking at ways to further ease restrictions” on the devices.
The letter also said Trump has “been clear that the need to improve access to these hearing aids is not an emergency but an important public health priority.”
The Trump administration is considering the possibility of extending a special hearing-aid exemption for individuals who are “incapacitated” by the pandeem, according to a report in Politico.
A White House official said the president was considering such an exemption for the people with hearing-loss.
But the official said Trump was not “in the final stages of exploring it.”
Trump also has been seeking to ease some of the restrictions on earphones.
He has asked for a delay on the restrictions, while also asking for a small number of exemptions.
He is also considering allowing the use for earbuds in certain situations.
But Trump has not yet made a decision on whether or when to lift the restrictions.
The Trump-Ryan administration has been struggling to make progress on health care.
In May, the president signed an executive order that lifted some of his restrictions on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would deal with coronaviruses.