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Upton: U.S. House passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today voted for and the U.S. House passed the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This legislation will provide immediate resources to help Americans across the country mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The bill passed 363-40.

“This crisis is growing more serious by the day, and the American people are frustrated and concerned. Today, we took important action passing bipartisan legislation that will allow for families and communities to better protect themselves and their overall well-being,” Upton said. “It’s all hands on deck. We need to break this cycle, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a step to helping us do just that. The legislation provides funding for food and other necessities to help children who are away from school but depend on school meals. It also provides funding for paid leave for workers because if you are sick, you need to stay home. The deal also includes widespread testing at no cost to patients. We need to remember we’re all in this together, and if we continue to focus on solutions – not politics or blame – we will overcome this crisis, just as we have always done.”

In summary, this coronavirus response package includes:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test
  • Two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave
  • Support for food programs, including SNAP, student meals, seniors meals, and food banks
  • Enhanced unemployment insurance
  • Additional funding for Medicaid to help local and state health systems respond to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Increase access to telemedicine services for new Medicare beneficiaries 

Yesterday, President Donald Trump also declared a national emergency under the Stafford Act, allowing him to mobilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and direct federal aid to states.

The latest updates and additional information on the coronavirus are available at www.cdc.gov. Upton continues to share updates, safety tips, and other information on his social media channels.

Additional Background information: Upton’s actions to date to combat the coronavirus

This week, Upton has continued to participate in daily briefings with members on the Hill about the latest information on the coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, March 6, the President signed an $8.3 billion funding package that Upton helped pass through the U.S. House. The funding will help expedite the development of a vaccine, purchase essential supplies for local and state health officials who are on the front lines, and provide further assistance for state and local health officials.


Last Friday, Upton also met with medical professionals, public health officials, and local leaders at Western Michigan’s Med School on the coronavirus. Upton provided an updated on the funding package that was passed, and they shared what they were hearing on the ground, what resources they had, and what resources they still need.

Upton also penned a letter with U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to encourage states to cover telemedicine services during the coronavirus outbreak so that folks across the country can receive the services that they need when and where they need them.

On Tuesday, March 3, Upton and members of the Problem Solvers Caucus met with Vice President Mike Pence and Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Debbie Birx, to discuss solutions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Upton on Monday, March 2 joined the Problem Solvers Caucus in calling for leaders in Washington to put politics aside and focus on bipartisan solutions.

On Friday, February 28, Upton and his office reached out to local health officials in Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District to open up direct lines of communication with the folks on the ground.

In early February, Upton and Rep. Debbie Dingell addressed a letter to Azar, Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, and Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun asking for the U.S. government to work to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the supply chain of American automotive firms. Hundreds of thousands of Michigan jobs depend on the auto industry and auto manufacturing and millions of more jobs rely on other Chinese exports.

As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton helped lead the passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), important bipartisan legislation to help government agencies better coordinate to protect the American people from public health emergencies. President Trump last year signed into law the reauthorization of PAHPA



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