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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01)

March 14, 2020

Press Release

Legislation provides paid leave, establishes free testing, protects health workers, and provides important benefits to children and families

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Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to bolster the response to the coronavirus outbreak and address the severe impacts of the coronavirus on Americans’ personal safety and financial security. The package includes provisions from the bill that Haaland and Democratic lawmakers introduced yesterday to ensure emergency food assistance is available amid the growing coronavirus outbreak. Haaland played a pivotal role ensuring Tribes were not left behind from emergency programs and measures.

“Families in this country deserve support during a time of crisis, but for too long worker protections have been put on the backburner. Today, we’re passing much needed programs that will ensure our families have what they need to stay healthy and manage the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland. 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, that passed the U.S. House tonight helps families impacted by the coronavirus outbreak by:

  • Providing paid leave; 
  • Establishing free coronavirus testing;
  • Supporting strong unemployment benefits; 
  • Expanding food assistance for vulnerable children and families;
  • Protecting frontline health workers; 
  • Providing additional funding to states for the ongoing economic consequences of the pandemic;
  • Protecting home-delivered meals, personal care, and health services for seniors and individuals with disabilities; and
  • Ensuring Tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes are included and eligible for emergency funding and programs.

The legislation that passed today builds on an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus spending package enacted into law on March 6. That package – consisting entirely of new funds – included support for state and local health agencies, vaccine and treatment development, and loans for affected small businesses to lessen the economic blow of this public health emergency.

In a House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing this week, Haaland pressed Administration officials on the lack of preparedness and President Trump’s inappropriate response to the coronavirus outbreak. After coronavirus cases were confirmed in New Mexico this week, Haaland remains in close contact with the New Mexico Department of Health, City of Albuquerque, and Centers for Disease Control. Last week, Haaland voted for Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act is a strong $8.3 billion emergency supplemental package that will help prepare for the scale and seriousness of the public health threat posed by the coronavirus. Haaland launched a bilingual Coronavirus Info Center on her website to ensure residents in the district have easy access to prevention measures and the latest official information.