Reps across New York agree, voting in support of spending
– By Gabriel Pietrorazio
House Resolution 6201, also known as the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” overwhelmingly passed with bipartisan support, including all congressional representatives throughout New York State.
The bill was introduced on Wednesday, March 11th and passed by the House of Representatives in the early morning hours on Saturday, March 14th after enforcing a procedure called “suspension of rules,” which is commonly implored when passing non-controversial bills.
Any vote under suspension requires a 2/3 majority versus a simple majority.
With 26 congressional districts that comprise the state of New York, both parties voted in unison on this bill: 21 Democrats and five Republicans.
Representatives Tom Reed [R-23] and John Katko [R-24] both voted in favor of the coronavirus response act alongside Rep. Joseph Morelle [D-25] and other Democrats.
In total, 223 Democrats and 140 Republicans supported the legislation while 40 Republicans voted against the bill.
Additionally, nine Democrats and 17 Republicans abstained from voting that evening.
Even President Donald Trump has been vocal on Twitter, endorsing H.R. 6201 earlier on Friday ahead of the vote.
The proposed bill would provide free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave, expand food assistance and other unemployment benefits as well as require employers to offer additional protections for healthcare workers.
More specifically, the bill’s provisions “establish a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak, expand unemployment benefits and provide grants to states for processing and paying claims, require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, establish requirements for providing coronavirus diagnostic testing at no cost to consumers, treat personal respiratory protective devices as covered countermeasures that are eligible for certain liability protections, and temporarily increase the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).”
President Trump hopes to sign the legislation into effect once the vote is brought before the Senate.