We are living at an unprecedented time with challenges to our well-being and financial security. Everyone is ready to pitch in to get through it. The response to COVID-19 must be swift and from every sector – philanthropic, business, nonprofit and every level of government – to keep us safe and stable.
On March 14, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted H.R. 6201, a stimulus measure that would guarantee free coronavirus testing, establish paid leave, enhance unemployment insurance, expand food security initiatives and increase federal Medicaid funding.
H.R. 6201, named the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, is a bi-partisan effort drafted by House Democrats in collaboration with the White House. President Trump has promised to sign it, once the Senate adopts it.
This is considered a “phase 2” economic aid package. Trump signed the first $8.3 billion package to battle the coronavirus on March 6. Congress is also considering a “phase 3” stimulus package to provide more relief.
Our friends at United Way of Greater Atlanta have set up an easy way to send a message to our Senators Perdue and Loeffler about H.R. 6021. Click here today to send a message and voice your support!
- Additional funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to provide nutrition assistance children and their mothers who have lost their jobs as a result of the outbreak.
- Waiver authority for the Department of Agriculture to allow flexibility for states in providing emergency food assistance and flexibility in how and where nutrition support is administered to accommodate for school, childcare, and adult care centers closing.
- Suspension of work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the emergency.
- Supplemental funding for local food banks to meet the increased need in communities.
- Free Coronavirus testing for all Americans regardless of insurance.
- Coverage of a provider visit to receive testing for Americans enrolled in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- Increased funding for public health programs including Medicaid and CHIP by increasing states’ federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) during the emergency.
Unemployment & Leave Benefits:
- Immediate fully paid sick leave for 14 days for those working for employers with under 500 employees when they are sick or two weeks of 2/3 pay to care for a family member.
- The ability to take up to three months of job-protected family and medical leave due to COVID-19 impacts.
- Emergency grants to states to meet the increased need for Unemployment Insurance benefits.
- Inclusion of nonprofits as an eligible employer to recoup costs related to emergency paid leave benefits.