Sen. Approps Vice Chair Leahy REAX To Senate Passage Of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Today the Senate took a crucial first step to meet the American people where they are in this crisis by ensuring emergency, paid sick leave, enhancing unemployment insurance, and providing new funds to support nutrition programs, which will come under increasing strain during this crisis.  Importantly, the bill also guarantees affordable testing, which is a necessary step to finally understanding the full scope of this disease in our country. 

But we must view our response to this crisis in phases that evolve and respond to the changing nature of this crisis.  Like the bill we passed today, our next phase must also be bipartisan.  Members on both sides of the aisle, myself included, have concerns with certain parts of this bill, but as we confront this pandemic we cannot stand upon our partisan differences while the American people suffer.  Everyone had to give a little to allow us to move forward.  Now is not the time for politics and partisan bills.

As we negotiate the next coronavirus bill, we must continue to put families first by providing immediate assistance to the millions of people who are out of work because of this virus today.  We must also increase our efforts to support medical care providers as they brace for this pandemic.  And we must support our small businesses, cities, and towns who do not have the resources to weather this storm.

Finally, I want to thank Vermonters and the American people for the sacrifices they are making by practicing social distancing and following the recommended guidelines to keep themselves and their communities safe.  I profoundly thank medical care providers, grocery store staff, state and local government workers, truckers, bank tellers, journalists and all of those continuing to do the important and necessary work on the front lines of this crisis. 

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CONTACT: Jay Tilton – 202-224-2667