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Rep. Courtney Votes for Coronavirus Economic Relief Package

March 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Early this morning, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), an economic relief package that would provide American families with financial stability and security amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The ripple effects made by COVID-19 may be felt for months, and we need to help eastern Connecticut families, schools, businesses, and others to brace for any economic and social impacts made as we take precautions to help folks stay healthy and safe,” said Rep. Courtney. “The $8.3 billion funding package the House passed last week was a good start, and tonight’s latest emergency funding bill will help Americans to weather the storm by extending critical resources to our most vulnerable communities, and by ensuring that American workers have the financial support they need. We’ve got to keep working together, across the aisle to manage this outbreak, and to protect our communities.”

Two key provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act include measures Rep. Courtney helped introduce to ensure that all health insurance providers cover COVID-19 testing at no cost to patients, and that would protect students’ access to federally-supported school meals programs during school closures due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Other provisions include:

  • Free Coronavirus Testing – Ensuing that all Americans, including those with private insurance, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, have access to free tests.
  • Paid Leave – Providing 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave.
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance – Extending unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave.
  • Expanded Food Assistance Programs – Providing nutritious food to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, helping local food banks meet increased demand and offering home-delivered meals to low-income seniors. It also makes sure that children who depend on free and reduced-price meals at school continue to have access to nutritious foods in the event of school closures.
  • Increased Medicaid Funding – Boosting federal support for states to absorb new Medicaid enrollees and to respond to expected increased volume in these circumstances, without forcing states to cut benefits, reduce Medicaid rolls, raise premiums or impose higher cost-sharing.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act builds on the $8.3 billion in emergency funding passed by Congress and signed into law last week to help federal, state and local governments fight the virus and keep Americans safe.

For more information about the economic relief package, click here.