March 14, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement tonight after the House voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which strengthens the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and addresses the impacts of the coronavirus on financial security and the economy:
“The economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak have been devastating to working families across the country. Americans desperately need relief right now and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a strong start toward delivering just that.
“We must not forget our most important job: protecting the health and safety of the American people. They need and deserve free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave, enhanced unemployment benefits, expanded food assistance programs, and additional funding for states, local jurisdictions, and health systems responding to the outbreak.
“This bill provides free coronavirus testing to all individuals who need a test, regardless of whether they are insured or uninsured. Additionally, we also increase federal funds for Medicaid to support the state and local governments and health systems that have already expended significant resources responding to this crisis.
“It is imperative that we support those who experience financial burdens during this health crisis. The bill establishes two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. It also strengthens food assistance programs to help keep food on the table for children, families, and seniors.
“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a critically important step by Congress to support our ability to respond to this crisis, but it cannot be the last action Congress takes. More support is clearly needed to protect our public health, and we must expedite the delivery of medical supplies and test kits, alleviate the stress put on our health care system, and mitigate against the economic impacts of the crisis.”