Norcross Votes to Protect Families & Workers, Contain COVID-19 Outbreak
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a bill that strengthens the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and addresses the severe impacts of the coronavirus on Americans’ personal safety and financial security.
“The coronavirus not only threatens our health as Americans, it also threatens the economic security of workers and families,” said Congressman Norcross. “In order to properly fight the coronavirus and protect our communities, today we acted to ensure that everyone who needs to be tested can be, free of charge. And if you or a loved one gets sick, we secured paid emergency leave, so workers have the peace of mind that they can stay home to treat an illness and still be able provide for their families. The Senate and the President must take swift action and make this bill law.”
Norcross added: “I will continue to work with federal, state and local officials to contain the spread and move forward, ensuring that South Jersey is prepared, residents are healthy and our workers and their families are protected.”
The legislation includes:
- Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured;
- Paid emergency leave with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave;
- Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers;
- Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, senior’s nutrition, and food banks;
- Clear protections for frontline workers, including health care workers and other workers who are in contact with those who have been exposed or are responsible for cleaning at-risk places;
- Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.
The legislation 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.