03.20.20

Peters Pushing for Inclusion of His Measures to Support Workers, Small Businesses & Health Care Professionals in Coronavirus Legislative Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) is continuing his work to ensure legislation he spearheaded to support Michigan workers, families and small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic is included in the next legislative Senate package. He is also pressing to ensure frontline health care workers have the equipment and supplies needed to protect themselves and patients. The bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, which Peters helped the Senate pass earlier this week, made the COVID-19 test free — based on his legislation — and provided Michigan with $850 million in Medicaid support and contained measures to bolster paid sick leave. Peters also introduced legislation to provide unemployment assistance to affected workers.

“Michigan workers are not only worried about their health and safety during the Coronavirus pandemic, they are worried about their livelihoods as well. As Michigan workers and their families deal with the devastating impact of this pandemic, it’s important that we work together to pass bipartisan legislation. Workers who have lost their jobs or are not receiving a paycheck now shouldn’t be worried about whether they can put food on the table or pay their bills,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “We need to do more to expand unemployment assistance as I’ve proposed with my legislation, ensure that small businesses can stay afloat and help health care workers get the equipment they need to protect themselves and patients. As we work on the next Coronavirus legislative package, I’m going to continue pushing these priorities – because this is both an economic and public health crisis that we must quickly and effectively address.”

Peters has been pushing for aggressive, significant federal action to support health care professionals and workers across the country during this pandemic. He continues to work closely with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state and local leaders and public health officials. Earlier today, Peters spoke with representatives from the Michigan Health and Hospitals Association to discuss the resources medical centers in communities across the state need to combat the Coronavirus. Last week, Peters called for the President to declare a national emergency and to re-open health care enrollment. He announced a nationwide testing plan to quickly improve the capacity to test for Coronavirus, including making it available free of charge. He also previously helped the Senate pass emergency funding, including $14.5 million for Michigan’s Coronavirus response efforts. Peters convened two Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meetings with public health and security leaders to examine the federal government’s actions to limit the spread of the deadly virus. In January, Peters, along with Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) requested detailed information about the Administration’s strategy for responding to the emerging outbreak and called on the Trump Administration to fully fund pandemic preparedness and response efforts in the 2021 budget. In a December report, Peters raised serious concerns about vulnerabilities in our medical supply chain, including our reliance on overseas production of medical supplies and prescription drugs.

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