Congressional Update About the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
We are in unprecedented times as the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, is now a global pandemic affecting 150 countries around the globe.
In responding to the spread of COVID-19, I want to update you on my work in Congress to address this growing public health crisis in a smart, strategic, and serious manner.
The first important step Congress took was to ensure that the federal government has the resources needed to confront this deadly virus and keep Americans safe. That is why I voted in support of the Emergency Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 6074. This piece of legislation provides over $3 billion for research and development of a vaccine and innovative treatment options; $2.2 billion in funding for prevention, preparedness, and response; and $1 billion for the purchase of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. The bill was signed into law by the president on March 6, 2020 (P.L. 116-123).
The following week, the U.S. House of Representatives took a critically important second step in combatting the Coronavirus and helping the millions of Americans affected by passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201, on March 14, 2020. The bill was passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law on March 18, 2020 (P.L. 116-127).
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes:
Free coronavirus testing.
Paid emergency leave, with both 10 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave.
Enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI), a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.
Strengthened food security initiatives, such as SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks.
Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as States face increased healthcare costs associated with the coronavirus.
In addition to legislation, I joined fellow Financial Services Subcommittee and Task Force Chairs recently to urge the Trump Administration, regulators, financial services organizations, and credit reporting agencies to protect American consumers and hardworking families from the potential negative impact of the coronavirus. Moreover, on March 13th, I convened a Coronavirus Pandemic Conference Call with community leaders and stakeholders on efforts at the federal, state, and local levels of government to curb the virus.
Going forward, Congress is expected to consider other major pieces of legislation to provide on-the-ground economic relief for hardworking families and individuals, small businesses, and other vulnerable Americans. Please be assured that I will keep you updated on the latest developments, and I promise to continue to do all I can as your Representative of Ohio’s Third Congressional District to preserve public health and safety and ensure that no one is left out who needs assistance during this crisis. Stay healthy. Stay safe.
To learn more about the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, and for information on the State of Ohio’s response to COVID-19 go to www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.