Dear Colleague on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 12, 2020
Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

This evening, after much deliberation, we are near to a bipartisan agreement subject to an exchange of final legislative text to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

This legislation is focused directly on providing support for America’s families, who must be our first priority during this crisis, and includes:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.  In negotiations with the Administration, House Democrats insisted that all people who need to be tested, according to a medical professional, have access, and we defeated the Administration’s effort to impose burdensome income testing.
  • Paid emergency leave, with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. 
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.  The Administration had insisted that UI changes be made by Administrative action; Democrats successfully ensured that this be done by legislation.
  • Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks.  Democrats have ensured that SNAP work requirements will be paused for the duration of the public health crisis.
  • Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.  

Time is of the essence, and this bill must be passed and sent to the Senate.  The House will then get to work on a third emergency response package that will take further effective action that protects the health, economic security and well-being of the American people.

During this time of crisis, the strong and steady leadership of our Members working together is urgently needed.  I thank you for your patriotism and leadership to keep Americans safe.

best regards,