WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement regarding the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a bill written and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to urgently provide Americans with health care and financial security in the wake of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The bill includes:
- Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.
- Paid sick leave to as many as 87 million U.S. workers, with two weeks of fully paid time off, up to $511 per day, for cases of self-quarantine and those seeking and receiving medical treatment, as well as two weeks of paid time off at two-thirds regular pay to care for a family member ill with coronavirus.
- Job-protected paid family leave for up to 12 weeks for workers sacrificing their paychecks to care of children.
- Full reimbursement through refundable tax credit for employers that comply with emergency paid sick and paid family leave standards. Reimbursements will be paid by the federal government within three months and will cover the wages paid and the employer’s contribution to employee health insurance premiums during period of leave.
- Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.
- Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks.
- Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.
“Last week, the House took swift action to ensure those hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak aren’t met with complete and immediate economic hardship,” said Rep. Peters. “Now that these initial measures have been signed into law, we turn our attention to what else we can do to help the workers, families, and industries most in need. Time is of the essence so that Americans across the country can begin to receive the assistance they require during this difficult and uncertain time.”
This is the second piece of legislation passed by the House in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier in the month, the House passed an $8.3 billion emergency supplemental bill to help states, communities, and federal agencies combat the spread of the virus. The House is now working on a third stimulus bill to support the economy, further supporting American families facing lost income and industry sectors whose employees are bearing the brunt of this public health crisis.