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HomeUSLawmakers agree on additional $10 billion funding for US COVID response

Lawmakers agree on additional $10 billion funding for US COVID response


Lawmakers have reached a bipartisan agreement to provide an additional $10 billion in funding for Covid-19.

The number is less than half of what the White House originally requested, but some Republicans have been willing to offer nothing as they claim that pre-Covid funding has been squandered or not yet spent.

While previous Covid-19 relief bills, such as the $1.9 trillion U.S. Rescue Plan, are saddled with funding for struggling families and businesses, the new deal will be narrowly tailored to public health efforts to combat the virus.

The package would enable the federal government to purchase more treatments, tests, vaccines and other supplies, but would not allow international aid, according to the Washington Post.

Senate Republicans, including Mitt Romney, Utah, Richard Burr, North Carolina, Roy Blunt, MO, and Lindsey Graham, Rs., have been working with Democrats after pandemic funding was pulled from the 2022 budget bill. The main negotiators on the Democratic side were Sen. Chris Coons from Dell, Chuck Schumer from New York and Patty Murray from Washington. The new deal could make way in the House as soon as this week.

President Biden originally asked Congress for another $22.5 billion in funding to combat Covid-19, warning that the government would soon run out of stocks of treatments and not have the capacity to offer a second booster dose of the vaccine to everyone.

The White House originally asked Congress to include $22.5 billion in funding to combat the ongoing pandemic, but that figure was dropped to $15.6 billion after negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.

Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Sen. Richard Burr, RN.C.

Senate Republicans including Mitt Romney, Utah, Richard Burr, North Carolina, Roy Blunt, Mo., and Lindsey Graham, R.S., have been working with Democrats after pandemic funding is pulled from the 2022 budget bill.

Lawmakers included $15.6 billion in fiscal year 2022 budget legislation, but it was pulled at the last second after progressives protested the funding payments — reallocating about $7 billion in state and local Covid relief leftovers. The original Covid relief included about $10 billion to fight the pandemic at home and $5 billion abroad.

Moderate Republicans who could be persuaded to vote for more aid insisted it had been paid for, and demanded a full accounting of where other aid money has gone so far.

The new deal set to be announced Monday is paid for by reallocating aid from previous Covid-19 bills, but it doesn’t delve into state aid.

Biden officials have warned that providing funds to fight the pandemic abroad is necessary to prevent the development and spread of new variants. The US Agency for International Development (AID) had been running a program to administer vaccines abroad, but warned it would be forced to halt the initiative without more funding.

Coons had pushed negotiators to include funds for a global response, and Romney had previously said the bill would include about $1 billion in global aid. International funding was cut off after negotiators could not reach an agreement on how to pay for it.

Both chambers have less than a week to send the bill to Biden’s desk before a two-week recess on April 9, but some House Democrats have threatened to vote against it without global assistance.

I don’t understand why we make this mistake as a country. Representative Tom Malinowski told The Washington Post that my constituents do not want another variable to take their lives. “My constituents are already suffering from higher prices due to economic disruptions related to the virus, half a world away, in countries that have not been adequately vaccinated.”

Coronavirus cases are surging across Europe, Hong Kong and China and Biden officials are preparing for a potential surge here at home this spring. In the United States, cases and deaths are still lower than they were since last summer. On average, 27,088 cases are tested positive for the virus each day and an average of 649 die.

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