Mississippi Congressmen Michael Guest (R) and Bennie Thompson (D) voted in favor of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act last week as the nation continues to grapple with how to handle the pandemic.
The Act passed on a bipartisan vote of 363-40.
Mississippi’s other two Congressmen – Republicans Steven Palazzo and Trent Kelly – did not vote on the measure. Palazzo was in state while Kelly did not make it to the chamber in time to cast his vote in favor of the Act.
The Act would require health insurers to provide free testing to include the cost of an emergency room or clinic visit to get tested, as well as funds testing for the uninsured, veterans, military and Medicaid recipients. It calls on businesses to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for those who contract the virus or who must take care of someone with the virus, and provides up to three months of sick leave if a person or their family is quarantined.
One billion dollars is in the Act to provide grant funding to expand unemployment benefits for those who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus in states. Another $1.5 billion would go towards providing food and food stamps, while also suspending work requirements to receive food stamps.
Presidend Donald Trump backed the Act calling its passage “good teamwork” in a tweet Saturday morning.
Good teamwork between Republicans & Democrats as the House passes the big CoronaVirus Relief Bill. People really pulled together. Nice to see!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2020
Congressman Guest released this update video on Friday related to the declared National Emergency.
Today, President Trump declared a National Emergency. This will expand our ability to address the growing coronavirus threat. We are working in a united front to address this threat, and I will continue to make the health and safety of Mississippians my top priority. pic.twitter.com/9ScybLQpwO
— Congressman Michael Guest (@RepMichaelGuest) March 13, 2020