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DeLauro Votes for Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2020) — Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) released the following statement after voting to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, legislation that will ensure free coronavirus tests, access to paid sick days and longer-term paid leave, and expanded food assistance for children and seniors. If enacted, this would be the first time paid sick days and paid family and medical legislation will be signed into law. DeLauro first introduced paid sick days legislation—the Healthy Families Act—in 2004, as well as paid family and medical leave legislation—the FAMILY Act—in 2013.

“This is a time of crisis. Last week, we provided $8.3 billion to address the nation’s health needs. Today we are addressing the economic well-being of working people and middle-class families—paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and nutrition assistance. No one should face the impossible choice of their health or their paycheck, but unless we act, countless workers may have to. To help, we are providing free testing for coronavirus, funding to help stabilize the unemployment insurance system, 14 paid sick days for eligible workers as well as 12 weeks of paid leave for longer term care, and food assistance.”

“On sick days and paid leave, these are temporary measures. While this will help millions, millions are still left out. So, I will build on these programs. It should not, and must not, take a pandemic to get working people the economic relief and stability they need.”

“To protect food security, we provide $250 million for food programs for low-income seniors, particularly those who are home-bound or living with disabilities, including $160 million for home delivered meals. We are also providing $500 million for mothers and their children, through WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children, as well as $400 million for food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program. This is to help people meet increased demand during this public health emergency.”

“We suspend the work requirement for jobless people on food stamps and empower states to request needed emergency food stamp benefits. The hour may be dark, but we can be the light forward. People need a lifeline amidst this pandemic and when they are forced out of work. Let us show them that this community can help, and help them now.”