Shelby, Jones support Families First Coronavirus Response Act; Bill receives final passage
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which unlocks billions of dollars in funding to combat coronavirus (COVID-19) and provides further relief for hardworking families, businesses and industries negatively impacted by the pandemic.
U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Doug Jones (D-AL) both voted to support the measure.
As chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Shelby was instrumental in the process leading to passage of the important legislation in both chambers.
“During this unprecedented time, the Senate has been able to advance another agreement to help combat this deadly disease,” Shelby said in a statement on Wednesday after the Senate passed the act.
This package, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 90-8, establishes emergency paid family and medical leave for those affected by coronavirus. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act also increases unemployment benefits and food aid while providing additional flexibility to the Departments of Treasury and Labor to assist small businesses.
The legislation now moves to the desk of President Donald J. Trump for his signature. The Senate will soon move to another stimulus package to protect the economy and provide further relief, per Shelby’s office.
“Although my colleagues and I still have urgent work to do, this is a step in the right direction. It is my hope that in the coming days, we can pass an additional package that will contain comprehensive funding and protections to mitigate this virus and safeguard small businesses and others that make up the economic foundation of our nation,” Shelby added.
Jones took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to speak about coronavirus and what the American people — and Congress — can do to combat the disease.
Hey y’all – we all need to follow best practices, stay home, and do our part to protect others. I’m calling on the Senate to act quickly and decisively, too, to protect working families and small businesses. https://t.co/WsPmWxHkgM
— Doug Jones (@SenDougJones) March 17, 2020
In addition to the legislation passed on Wednesday, the Senate previously passed an emergency supplemental funding package on March 5 that provided $8.3 billion in total resources to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn