Langevin Votes for Bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) voted in support of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill, the product of bipartisan negotiations between House Democrats and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, guarantees free testing for coronavirus and will extend important family and medical leave benefits to workers who are under quarantine or who have to care for a sick family member or a child whose school or day care has been closed. The bill will also provide enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to children affected by school closures. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is expected to be considered by the Senate early next week.

The following may be attributed to Congressman Langevin:

“Democrats and Republicans must come together to do what is right for our country, our families and our workers in the face of the challenges created by the evolving novel coronavirus situation. Communities in Rhode Island and across the country are implementing necessary preventive public health measures, but each day more people are feeling the effects of school closures, quarantines, and social distancing. What’s more, many Americans, especially hourly workers, are under enormous pressure to show up at work so they can provide for their loved ones.  No one should be put in the position of having to choose between their health -- and that of their co-workers -- and the need to feed their family.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is the House’s second major bipartisan bill in as many weeks to protect families’ health and financial wellbeing, prevent further spread of the virus, improve medical support for those who are ill, and make workers whole. As the Administration races to catch up after a slow start to pandemic response, there should be no further delay in taking action for the best interests of Americans. We need to see increased testing immediately. My House colleagues and I will also be working on a third package in the coming weeks to address the broad economic damage that will result from the coronavirus crisis.

“Preparation at all levels will help us overcome this threat and minimize its impact on the livelihoods of our citizens. This is not a time for politics, and I urge Senate leaders to take up the measure as soon as possible. While this is a formidable challenge, I remain committed to working with my colleagues to protect our nation. I also urge all Rhode Islanders to continue to follow the advice of public health professionals and practice strong hand washing hygiene, refrain from travel, and avoid large gatherings.”