Lowey Leads House Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 14, 2020
Press Release

Temporary Medicaid funding boost would deliver an increase of approximately $6.7 billion for New York, the single largest amount to any state, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Legislation guarantees free coronavirus testing, secures paid emergency leave, enhances Unemployment Insurance, strengthens food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding to states

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, led the House in passing, on a bipartisan 363-40 vote, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to bolster the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and address the severe impacts of the coronavirus on Americans’ personal safety and financial security. The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The legislation reflects bipartisan agreement between House Democrats and the Trump administration. It guarantees free coronavirus testing, secures paid emergency leave, enhances Unemployment Insurance, strengthens food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding to states. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this temporary Medicaid funding boost would deliver an increase of approximately $6.7 billion to New York State, the largest single amount to any state.

The bill makes sure that children who depend on free and reduced-priced meals have access to food during school and child care closures. It ensures that low-income workers do not lose SNAP benefits during this public health crisis, and it provides flexibility to ensure the health and safety of WIC recipients.

“Our top priority in this public health emergency must be providing support to the American people,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “With the Families First Coronavirus Act, the federal government is working to ensure communities like those in Westchester and Rockland have physical safety and financial security during this time of crisis. With this bill, we can provide paid leave, guarantee free testing, and enhance important benefits for children and families. I will not stop working with my colleagues in Congress and throughout New York State to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on Lower Hudson Valley families.” 

This bill builds upon Congresswoman Lowey’s success in leading the passage of an emergency supplemental spending package that included an immediate $33 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for New York State and New York City to support state and local health departments which are aggressively addressing the local cases of coronavirus and protecting the public. New York is expected to receive substantially more from that legislation. 

Congresswoman Lowey’s full floor statement is here.

The text of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201, is here. A summary of H.R. 6201 is here.

 

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