WASHINGTON DC (March 14, 2020) — Representative Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the House passed a second piece of legislation containing funding to help address the severe impact of the Coronavirus illness. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides paid leave, establishes free coronavirus testing, supports strong unemployment benefits, expands food assistance, protects frontline health workers, and provides additional funding to states for the ongoing economic consequences of the illness, among other provisions. This bill builds on legislation signed into law last week, containing $8.3 billion in emergency funding.
“Iowans and all Americans deserve a coordinated, fully-funded, government-wide response to keep folks safe from the coronavirus. The recently-enacted emergency coronavirus supplemental of $8.3 billion was critical to our nation’s public health response. However, more support is clearly needed, as the coronavirus spreads and the affects deepen for workers and families. That is why I am pleased the House acted to ensure healthcare workers and patients have the resources they need to treat the illness,” said Rep Loebsack. “I will continue to closely monitor the situation and I encourage folks to remain engaged and take all public health suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control. This includes washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, staying home if you are sick and avoiding large gatherings. This bill is an important piece of legislation and I urge the Senate to take swift action in passing it.”
Specifically, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides:
- Economic security: We secured paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. We have also secured enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.
- Food security: We strengthened nutrition security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks. 22 million children rely on free or reduced-price school meals for their food security; we must ensure that they have food to eat.
- Health security: We increased federal funds for Medicaid to support our local, state, tribal, and territorial governments and health systems, so that they have the resources necessary to combat this crisis.