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Congresswoman Escobar Votes for the Bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Washington, March 14, 2020

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) voted for H.R. 6201, the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a critical legislation to support El Paso families facing the COVID-19 public health threat.

“As El Pasoans learn about the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus, I’m putting families first by supporting critical legislation that appropriates funds to ensure free coronavirus testing for every El Pasoan who needs a test, including the uninsured, and protects the economic and food security of workers and their families,” said Congresswoman Escobar.

“The health and safety of El Pasoans is my top priority and I will continue to legislate to protect their well-being in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.”

This legislation:

  • Ensures that all individuals, including those with private insurance, Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, will have access to tests at no cost.

  • Includes more than $1 billion to provide nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, help food banks, and provide meals to seniors. It also protects students’ access to school meals in the event of school closures.

  • Increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) that the federal government provides to state and territorial Medicaid programs. This will prevent states from cutting Medicaid benefits.

  • Gives states the resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to those workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave.

  • Establishes an Emergency Paid Leave Program that replaces a significant share of lost wages so that those who take leave to avoid spreading the virus or due to illness or caregiving responsibilities can pay their bills.

Last week, Congresswoman Escobar voted for an emergency coronavirus response package of $8.3 billion which included funding for vaccine development, support for state and local governments, and assistance for affected small businesses. This bipartisan package, negotiated by House Democrats, was signed by President Trump.

The text of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is here. A summary of H.R. 6201 is here.

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