Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Early this morning, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement after voting to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, bipartisan action to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to help the country rebound and recover from the effects this health crisis is having on American’s personal safety and financial security.

The bill includes:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.  In negotiations with the Administration, House Democrats insisted that all people who need to be tested, according to a medical professional, have access, and we defeated the Administration’s effort to impose burdensome income testing.
  • Paid emergency leave, with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. 
  • Tax credit eligibility for small business that comply with paid family leave standards.  
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.  The Administration had insisted that UI changes be made by Administrative action; Democrats successfully ensured that this be done by legislation.
  • Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks.  Democrats have ensured that SNAP work requirements will be paused for the duration of the public health crisis.
  • Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.

“Our first priority is the well-being of the American people,” said Rep. Peters. “The only way we can prevent the coronavirus from spreading is if people can get tested and stay home if they’re sick, without suffering severe financial strain. No one should be kept from following official public health guidance out of fear of losing their paycheck or their job. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act makes testing affordable and available to anyone who needs it, provides paid medical leave, nutritious meals to those in need, and increases federal support for health care.”

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has now been sent to the Senate, and is the second piece of legislation passed by the House in response to the coronavirus outbreak.