House passes bipartisan coronavirus response

Photo Credit: W. Scott McGill

The House voted 363-40 early Saturday to pass a coronavirus relief plan aimed at providing relief to workers on the front lines.

The measure moves to the Senate, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had already sent home for the weekend, because leadership.

McConnell tweeted after the House action that senators “will need to carefully review the proposal,” which provides for free coronavirus testing for all who need it, including the nearly 30 million Americans without insurance, up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave, stronger unemployment insurance for furloughed workers, and more funding for SNAP and food programs for children and seniors.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., is urging quick action from the Senate and President Trump, who has already signaled his support for the bipartisan legislation.

“At this moment, there is no time to delay in taking immediate actions to contain the spread of this disease,” Spanberger said. “The bipartisan legislation passed in the House tonight would improve access to coronavirus testing, give workers the ability to stay at home if they’re sick, and provide children and seniors with continued food security during these difficult times. This package also includes substantial support for small businesses and their employees, who face the very real threat of extensive financial challenges in the weeks to come.

“We’ve reached a critical inflection point in the fight against coronavirus, and both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, as well as the administration, must find a path forward on this legislation—for the health of our families and for the good of our country,” Spanberger said.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria, D-Va., said it is the duty of Congress “to act to ensure families and workers will stay safe and healthy.”

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides much-needed support for Americans who are most at-risk for the economic and health consequences of this outbreak. I urge the Senate to stand up for families and workers across our nation by quickly passing this urgent legislation,” Luria said.

“As schools close and health experts urge preventative measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia and across the country, we cannot gamble on the livelihoods of children and working families,” said Congressman Donald McEachin, D-Va. “There is no room for debate – the cost of health care should never be an obstacle to Virginians in need of testing for COVID-19, nor should there be concerns about food or job security during this crisis. We must act now to safeguard the health, security and well-being of all Americans and as we rise to meet the challenge of this crisis, we must ensure that Americans grappling with keeping food on their tables and providing for their families are not left behind.”

Story by Chris Graham

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