Apr. 30, 2020

House amendment would require plan and path to test those on the front lines 

HARRISBURG –The best way to help millions of Pennsylvanians resume their daily lives is to expand COVID-19 testing capabilities across the Commonwealth. To accomplish that, House Republicans are again leading the way in protecting and empowering Pennsylvanians during this crisis, by passing an amendment that would require Gov. Tom Wolf to produce a plan for procuring and deploying COVID-19 testing in Pennsylvania. 

“We recognize the sense of fear that Pennsylvanians are feeling in their homes as they are blocked from jobs, visiting friends and family, and even their places of worship,” House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said. “The answer to all these concerns is increased testing. Our state doesn’t have to guess who is and who is not carrying the virus. We can and should expand testing as other states are already doing.”

The amendment, added today to House Bill 2455 by a bipartisan vote, requires the governor to review the quantity of all tests statewide, and propose a timeline, plan and cost to disperse testing kits statewide.

“The testing would prioritize those at a higher risk for contracting the virus, or spreading it to vulnerable populations,” Cuter added. “Health care staff and nursing home residents are at the top of this list, and steps must be taken to ensure testing is increased for these populations immediately.”

The amendment is one of more than two dozen proposals authored and advanced by House Republicans since the emergency order was declared that is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Caucus leaders, members and staff continue to act on behalf of millions of Pennsylvanians out of work and running out of time to protect and provide for their families as the shutdown continues.

“At nearly every daily briefing Gov. Wolf and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine express the need for increased testing; however, no one in Pennsylvania, including those at leading laboratories developing tests, are aware of any plans to do so,” Cutler said. “We hope today’s vote will urge the governor to take the steps necessary to ease the fear of Pennsylvanians and test everyone we should.”

Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives