Menendez Statement on Final Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Menendez Statement on Final Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today released the following statement upon Senate passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

"I’m encouraged that today the Senate was able to put partisanship aside and pass the House Democrats' Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This legislation is the latest of many steps we must take to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect the financial security of the American people in the midst of this crisis.

“First and foremost, we cannot contain the coronavirus threat without testing, and now that it is finally becoming more widely available, we must ensure people can afford it. That’s why this legislation makes testing for COVID-19 available free of charge regardless of a patient's health care coverage. 

"Secondly, this legislation will help shield American workers and the most vulnerable from greater economic hardship by providing paid sick leave and enhancing unemployment for impacted workers, bolstering Medicaid funding, and expanding food assistance for seniors, low-income families and especially children who’ve lost access to school lunches. 

"These are important steps forward, but greater action by Congress will be necessary in the days ahead. We must do more to help restaurants, bars, shops and other small businesses struggling with closures, curfews, supply chain shortages, diminished access to credit and decreased demand for their services.

"And even as we consider bolder economic stimulus measures, we must remember that this is first and foremost a public health crisis. The wealth of our nation will ultimately hinge on the health of our people, which is why yesterday I called on President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act. I’m glad that today he announced he will take that step, which will help mobilize domestic manufacturing of ventilators, personal protective gear, and other critical supplies and prepare for the staging of temporary hospital beds and health care facilities in the days ahead. 

"The time is now to harness the power of the federal government to defeat COVID-19, and I stand ready to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate and the Trump Administration to put the health and welfare of the American people first."

 

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