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Rep Castor: U.S. House to Move Paid Sick Leave and Aid Package to Address Coronavirus’ Impact on Individuals, Working Families and the Economy

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Washington, March 11, 2020 | comments
The House is set to introduce a significant paid sick leave and economic aid package to support individuals and working families as we address the immediate economic impacts of the coronavirus. The health and economic security of working Americans is my top priority, and the House is poised to help ensure they are able to stay home when sick without the serious consequences of lost wages.
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“The House is set to introduce a significant paid sick leave and economic aid package to support individuals and working families as we address the immediate economic impacts of the coronavirus. The health and economic security of working Americans is my top priority, and the House is poised to help ensure they are able to stay home when sick without the serious consequences of lost wages.

“When you are sick, you shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck and staying home to safeguard yourself and others. Prioritizing public safety means providing paid sick leave. It also means caregivers and individuals impacted by quarantine orders or responsible for caring for children impacted by school closures are protected. The new paid sick leave and medical leave safeguards follow the estimated $7 billion in loans for small businesses facing financial struggles due to the coronavirus that was passed by Congress last week.

“House Democrats also intend to guarantee that all individuals who need a coronavirus test, including those without health insurance, can obtain one at no cost. Congress is funding a surge in public health resources back home for testing, tracing and mitigation.  We all must work together to stop the spread of coronavirus, and ensure that those who test positive are able to receive treatment.

“Our most vulnerable neighbors, especially seniors, are at an increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19, and our funding package will provide for their safety and comfort in the days ahead. That means securing food delivery for seniors across the nation and providing meals for students even if school closures occur. I remain committed to serving the needs of our neighbors in the days ahead, and look forward to passing a comprehensive economic funding package out of the House of Representatives this week.”

Last week’s initial funding package -now signed into law- includes:

  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state & local health agencies;
  • Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;
  • $435 million to support health systems overseas to prevent, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus;
  • $300 million to respond to humanitarian needs;
  • $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions;
  • Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses.

“Tomorrow’s sick leave and additional funding package are important next steps, while we evaluate further emergency measures in the days ahead.”

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