Shaheen & Hassan Statement After Legislation to Bring Financial Relief to Workers and Families Passes the Senate

March 18, 2020

SHAHEEN: “Much more work remains and Congress needs to continue to work hand-in-hand to deliver relief to families, businesses, the health care system and social service organizations in the days ahead.”

 

HASSAN: “Small businesses have been particularly hard hit by this outbreak, and now that this legislation is on its way to the president’s desk, it is critical that we swiftly pass substantial additional relief to individuals and small businesses, as well as our economy as a whole.”

Urgently-Needed Coronavirus Response Legislation is Headed to the President’s Desk

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) issued the following statements after bipartisan legislation to provide economic support to families and communities financially impacted by the coronavirus passed the Senate:

“This is a critical step to respond to the coronavirus, but much work remains for Congress,” said Shaheen. “This legislation will help support paid leave for many hourly workers and provide food assistance for low-income families and seniors. The bill also directs much-needed funding to Medicaid and ensures all Americans, including those who are uninsured, can receive a coronavirus test without co-pays or deductibles, so that costs are not a barrier. I appreciate the cooperation by leaders in Congress and the Trump administration that made this bipartisan economic package possible. Congress needs to continue to work hand-in-hand with states, federal agencies and other partners to deliver relief to families, businesses, the health care system and social service organizations in the days ahead.”

"As COVID-19 continues to seriously harm the health and economic stability of Granite Staters and all Americans, this bipartisan package is one significant step forward in helping families and workers who are directly impacted," said Hassan. "The number one priority for our country must continue to be slowing the spread of COVID-19, and this package helps to do so by expanding COVID-19 testing and supporting Americans who are missing a paycheck. By expanding Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and paid leave, this bill will help ensure that people can follow the public health advice to stay home when they feel sick or feel that they have been exposed to somebody who is, without suffering the kind of financial loss that might put their housing or food security at risk. Small businesses have been particularly hard hit by this outbreak, and now that this legislation is on its way to the president’s desk, it is critical that we swiftly pass substantial additional relief to individuals and small businesses, as well as our economy as a whole.”

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes the following:

  • Nutrition assistance to low-income families and seniors, including through food banks, school lunch programs and programs that help mothers and infants;
  • Provides emergency paid sick leave to many workers who get infected with the coronavirus, undergo quarantine or need to take care of a sick family member, as well as unemployment insurance for those who are laid off as a result of the virus;
  • Targeted tax credits for small businesses for providing paid sick leave;
  • Provides as much as $110 million in Medicaid funding to New Hampshire to cover the additional costs of health care as a result of the virus;
  • Requires insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare to cover the full cost of coronavirus testing;
  • And implements emergency measures to make sure those without insurance have their coronavirus testing costs fully covered.

Shaheen and Hassan have been sounding the alarm on the need for additional federal funding and access to public information as the coronavirus spreads. Shaheen and Hassan both supported bipartisan government funding legislation to help states’ response efforts, which was recently signed into law. Last week, the CDC disbursed the $4.9 million in funds for New Hampshire included in that funding package. This week, Shaheen led the New Hampshire delegation in calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to urgently provide guidance to health care providers in New Hampshire and across the country on the steps being taken to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other essential supplies to hospitals as they prepare for an increase of coronavirus patients in the weeks to come. She also led the New Hampshire delegation in calling on the Small Business Administration to issue an emergency declaration to ensure New Hampshire small businesses are eligible for the full suite of emergency resources available through the agency.

Last week, following calls from Senators Shaheen, Hassan, and others in Congress, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of the coronavirus. Shaheen and Hassan have also urged Trump administration officials to provide necessary support to students and workers impacted by the coronavirus, to re-open the ACA health care enrollment window to help people avoid getting hit with huge medical bills, and to expand internet access to students in need so they can continue remote classes in the coming weeks. Earlier this month, Shaheen joined a group of 25 Senators calling on the National Security Council (NSC) to address and coordinate administration efforts in response to the Coronavirus and other global health security threats.