Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, released the following statement in response to a bipartisan agreement on a third emergency package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:
"We are in the midst of a public health emergency with enormous implications for our community and economy. Americans are getting sick, losing their jobs, and small business owners are struggling. I am pleased that the Senate recognizes the gravity of this crisis and devotes significant resources to aiding public health workers and hospitals, direct payments to America's working families, provide emergency assistance to the unemployed, and capital to small business owners.”
The text of the legislation has yet to be introduced. Higgins’ office will provide specific information about what that package means to Western New Yorkers when full details are released. The Senate will vote first on the bill; that vote could come as soon as today. The House vote will follow this week.
On March 2, the House of Representatives approved the first emergency bill, an $8.3 billion emergency funding package. The bill addressed the immediate health concerns, funding prevention, preparedness and response at the federal, state and local levels; and supporting research and development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
On March 14, Higgins joined the House of Representatives in approving the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The legislation addresses the most urgent needs of Americans including free coronavirus testing, food security and paid family leave.