UPDATE: Senate Passes Coronavirus Relief

Senate provides much needed relief packing by passing HR.6201

March 19, 2020

You acted and the Senate listened! Last week, we asked you to urge your Senators to push through the GOP’s block on coronavirus legislation. Thanks to your prompt action, the Senate voted in favor of passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act! 

Here is what the bill covers:

  • Free coronavirus testing
  • Expands food and nutrition assistance 
  • Guarantees two weeks of sick leave for certain classes of workers, who would be paid portions of their regular salary.

The Senate rejected the Johnson Amendment which replaced paid sick leave provisions with unemployment assistant employees. Passing it would have meant that benefits would have only been made available to individuals who had lost their jobs. The Senate should be commended for rejecting such amendments and for putting aside partisan disagreement over policy specifics to provide a much-needed response to those directly impacted by the health and economic consequences of COVID-19. 

A third round of legislation is expected and for good reason. There are significant weaknesses in this bill which must be addressed in future legislation. 

Here is what we’re advocating for:

  • Paid sick leave for the vast majority of private sector workers. 
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set health and safety standards for healthcare workers, nurses, and other caregivers who are working at the frontlines of the coronavirus treatment. 

We will continue to provide you analysis of proposed legislation. We will also continue to work to ensure that people receive the benefits, healthcare, and accommodations that they need. 



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