In an overwhelming vote of 363-40, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6201, the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act," making emergency supplemental appropriations for FY 2020.
Some of the highlights of the bill include:
- Funding for the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC).
- Funding for emergency food assistance.
- Funding for aging and disability services programs.
- Waivers to maintain access to school lunch programs, school breakfast programs, child and adult food care programs, and summer food service programs.
- Flexibility to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) by suspending work and work training requirements.
- The right for employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for specific COVID-related reasons; after two weeks of paid leave, employees will receive a benefit from their employers that will be no less than 2/3 of an employee's usual pay.
- Leave for employees who work under a multi-employer collective agreement and whose employers pay into a multiemployer plan.
- Emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance benefits under certain conditions.
- Full federal funding of extended unemployment compensation for a limited period of time for states that experience an increase of 10% or more in their unemployment rate.
- Requirements for employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees two weeks of paid sick leave under certain conditions related to COVID-19.
- Requirements for private health plans to provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing at no cost to the consumer.
- Requirements for Medicaid to provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing at no cost to the beneficiary.
- Refundable tax credit equal to 100% of qualified paid sick leave wages paid by an employer.
- Refundable tax credit equal to 100% of a qualified sick leave equivalent for eligible self-employed individuals who must self-isolate, obtain a diagnosis or comply with a self-isolation recommendation.
- Refundable tax credit equal to 100% of qualified family leave wages paid by an employer.
A bill summary, as well as more detailed information, is posted on the Crisis Response and Preparedness page of our website.
The Senate is expected to consider the emergency supplemental next week and the President has signaled that he supports and he will sign the emergency supplemental in the coming days.