March 15, 2020

Duckworth: Senate Should Pass Bipartisan Coronavirus Response Act Immediately


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately call up and pass the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Friday night. The Senator issued the following statement regarding the legislation:

“We must always put families first in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. I applaud House Democrats for rejecting the White House’s initial ‘corporations first’ approach and forcing the Trump Administration to agree to the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill is an important first step that will push the Trump Administration to improve its inadequate and counterproductive efforts to protect Americans from COVID-19. It will refocus our nation’s response to where it should have been from the beginning: testing. That’s the first and most important thing we have to do better in order to keep our nation healthy, and I’m pleased that this agreement vastly expands testing access and makes it free for those who need it.

“The legislation also addresses other important policy issues related to coronavirus, including guaranteed paid sick leave so workers don’t have to choose between a paycheck and going to work while sick, expanded emergency unemployment insurance to help those who’ve lost their jobs as a result of this crisis as well as increased investments in Medicaid and food security. Leader McConnell should immediately call up the bill and seek to pass it by unanimous consent so we can send this important public health legislation to the President’s desk without requiring additional unnecessary travel or increasing risk for anyone.”

Senator Duckworth also spoke out on Friday about Donald Trump’s long-overdue decision to issue an emergency disaster declaration under the Stafford Act so that state and local governments can receive much-needed support, and she joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in demanding additional federal resources from the Trump Administration for O’Hare International Airport after hundreds of passengers were forced to wait in close quarters for hours on end there in order to clear medical screenings at customs.