Washington, DC – Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) issued the following statement today in support of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:

“Last night, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act with broad, bipartisan support. It will help to ensure our communities have the support they need to weather this difficult time and people are able to care for themselves and their families. Passage of the bill is another step forward in our efforts to appropriately respond to this public health emergency. The Senate must act quickly to pass the bill so it can be signed into law without delay.”

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes:

  • Free testing for the coronavirus: The bill includes funds to provide for free testing for the coronavirus for all individuals, including the uninsured.
  • For families’ economic security:  The bill includes paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. It also includes enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits, a step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.
  • For families’ food security: It strengthens 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, so we absolutely must ensure that they have food to eat.
  • For families’ health security: It increases 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.

Passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act builds upon previously passed legislation, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provided $8.3 billion in emergency funds for public health agencies, for vaccine development, to support for state and local governments, and to assist affected small businesses. Congress will continue to consider additional legislation that may be necessary to address the crisis.

Additionally, to help provide accurate and up-to-date information to the American public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have established a new website: coronavirus.gov.

The CDC has also published a new document that provides:

  • Steps to keep workplaces safe from coronavirus
  • Steps to keep schools safe from coronavirus
  • Steps to keep your home safe from coronavirus
  • Steps to keep commercial establishments safe from coronavirus

Congresswoman Brownley encourages everyone to review this information, to listen to public health professionals, and keep you and your family safe.  Importantly, if you do feel sick, please call your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms before going to a medical facility. This added precaution could help to prevent further spread of coronavirus.