To: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate From: Virginia Kase, Chief Executive Officer
Re: Assistance for Families, Communities, and Workers due to COVID-19
Dear Representatives and Senators:
On behalf of our members and supporters the League of Women Voters of the United States urges you to vote YES for policies that will help families, communities, and workers facing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the World Health Organization labeled the coronavirus a global pandemic, our attention must be on prevention and precaution, treatment, and the short- and long-term economic impact of COVID-19 on families and communities.
We are grateful for the quick movement to assist those who will be affected by COVID-19. Your actions will no doubt keep many our families and communities from suffering extreme financial hardship. We encourage you to support policies like those in H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which takes the necessary steps that the League has a long history of supporting, including:
Providing Paid Sick Leave & Emergency Paid Leave Benefits
Require all employers to allow employees to accrue seven days of paid sick leave, and to provide an additional 14 sick days that are immediately available due to COVID-19, or any public health emergency;
Allow those caring for someone due to a COVID-19 related school, childcare facility, or care program closing to participate in a new federal emergency leave benefits program which will allow parents and guardians the flexibility they need to care for their families.
Feeding Families and Children
Enable the Department of Agriculture to approve state plans for providing emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance to families with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals if the COVID-19 emergency had not closed their schools; Provide for flexibility in SNAP assistance for low-income jobless workers.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Provide fully funded federal emergency unemployment insurance for a limited period.
Flexible and Affordable Health Provisions from Private Insurers
Require private health plans to provide coverage for coronavirus diagnostic testing, including the cost of the provider, urgent care center, and emergency room visits required to receive testing. Again, we thank you for taking actions to assist working families during this crisis. We strongly urge you to vote YES for policies that will help families, communities, and workers facing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sincerely,Virginia Kase Chief Executive Officer League of Women Voters of the United States