03.18.20

Burr Supports Bipartisan Coronavirus Relief Bill to Help N.C. Families and Small Businesses

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) released the following statement after the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 90-8: 

“As the coronavirus outbreak continues to develop, we have two critical goals: to slow the virus’ spread and to provide immediate, targeted relief to those impacted. Stopping coronavirus isn’t just a job for public health officials – it’s a job for all of us. While we are taking necessary steps to protect the public health, we must also bolster our local communities and our national economy, including providing support for seniors, parents, children, and small businesses. This is the second relief package Congress has passed to help American families and small businesses during this unprecedented challenge, and will not be the last. The Senate will continue working to address this public health emergency alongside local, state, and federal officials.” 

Background:

H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, represents a second installment of emergency funding by providing relief to American workers and businesses. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 6201 on March 14, 2020, by a bipartisan vote of 363-40. Specifically, this legislation:

  • Covers the cost of coronavirus testing by requiring all commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Indian Health Service, and TRI-CARE to offer coverage. 
  • Eliminates the copay requirement of testing for service members and veterans.
  • Provides emergency nutritional assistance for senior citizens, low-income families, women, and children.
  • Provides 14 days of paid sick leave to employees affected by coronavirus of businesses with fewer than 500 employees. 
  • Provides a 100 percent tax credit, up to capped levels and credited against quarterly payroll taxes, for paid sick leave to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Increases access to telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries, helping health care facilities lower the number of patients in their facilities.
  • Provides 12 weeks of paid family leave for an employee with a minor child in the event of school or child care facility closure. The first 10 days of leave are unpaid, but employees can use 10 days of paid sick leave. Employers can use the paid family leave credit to offset 100 percent of their costs for providing mandated paid family leave.

Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law the first phase of emergency funding, or the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. This funding package provided $7.8 billion to increase federal coordination with state and local officials. It also supported the development and distribution of medical countermeasures to communities across the nation.

Earlier this month, Senator Burr urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fully leverage the existing public health emergency response framework, which Senator Burr helped author in 2006, for its ongoing efforts to address the spread of the coronavirus.