I wanted to take a moment to update you on the work Rep. Underwood is doing around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. So far, Congress has passed two critical pieces of bipartisan legislation to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and is considering a third.
The first was a $8.3 billion emergency funding package, signed into law on March 6, that delivers much-need resources to state and local health agencies. This package also commits resources towards developing treatments and a vaccine, as well as prevents price gouging for medicines. Impacted small businesses will also be able to apply for additional low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration.
The second, H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law March 18:
- Provides free coronavirus testing for all individuals who need it, including the uninsured.
- Expands paid emergency leave and enhance unemployment insurance to extend protections to furloughed workers.
- Strengthens nutrition security initiatives, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), student meals, seniors’ nutrition, and food banks.
- Increases federal funds for Medicaid to support state and local governments and health systems.
A third piece of legislation is making its way through Congress. The priorities Underwood is pushing for include medical supplies and testing, grants and loans for small businesses, and resources for Illinois health systems including equipment for health care providers and public health officials. The full list can be found attached. The priorities listed come after hundreds of calls with business owners, mayors, public health officials, and constituents.
Additionally, Rep. Underwood hosted her first Facebook Live Town Hall last week, and plans to host many more moving forward.
Thank you for all that you are doing in this incredibly difficult time.
Michelle Thimios |District Director
Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14)