Shaheen Statement on the Bipartisan Economic Coronavirus Response Legislation that Passed the House

March 14, 2020

SHAHEEN: “This legislation couldn’t be more important and needs to be sent to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”

(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in support of new, bipartisan legislation to provide economic support to families and communities that are financially impacted by the spread of Coronavirus:  

“This legislation couldn’t be more important and needs to be sent to the President’s desk as soon as possible. This is a critical next step that Congress needs to take, but certainly much more work remains. As the Coronavirus spreads, public health and assistance to working families and small businesses are my top concern,” said Shaheen. “This legislation is urgently needed to help hourly workers in particular who are sick so that they can take the paid leave they need to get well while mitigating the spread of the virus. It also provides support to small businesses who have to close operations. Not nearly enough has been done to prepare health care providers and make sure care is available to everyone who needs it. This legislation provides needed funding for health care through Medicaid and health insurance coverage of Coronavirus testing to all individuals, including uninsured Americans, without co-pays or deductibles, so that costs are not a barrier. Containing and mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus requires an all-hands-on-deck approach and I appreciate the good faith-negotiations by both leaders in Congress and the Trump administration that made this economic package legislation possible.”

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 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;
  • Reimburses 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 has been sounding the alarm on the need for additional federal funding and access to public information in preparation for the spread of the Coronavirus. Following calls from Senator Shaheen and others in Congress, on Friday President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of Coronavirus. Also this week, Shaheen urged Trump administration officials to provide necessary support to students and workers impacted by the Coronavirus. Shaheen supported bipartisan government funding legislation to help states’ response efforts, which was recently signed into law. Earlier this week, the CDC disbursed the $4.9 million funds for New Hampshire included in that funding package. Further, Shaheen joined a group of 25 Senators earlier this month, calling on the National Security Council (NSC) to address and coordinate administration efforts in response to the Coronavirus and other global health security threats.