COVID Funding Deal Announced By US Congress

Mitch McConnell

Senate Republicans and Democrats struck a $10B COVID funding deal that covers antivirals, vaccines, tests, therapeutics, and research just ahead of the recess. Several House Democrats objected to the exclusion of worldwide vaccine aid from the package.

50% of the $10B COVID funding is for the purchase of COVID therapeutics by the federal government, while $4.75 has been allotted to broader purchases such as COVID-19 vaccines and tests. $750 of the COVID funding has been earmarked for research projects and the coronavirus vaccine.

The package for COVID funding will be backed with funds from previous coronavirus bills that have been repurposed. The COVID funding does not comprise any funds to support global vaccinations efforts, as had been urged by the federal administration and several Democratic lawmakers.

COVID Funding Agreement On Global Vaccination Could Not Be Reached Before Recess

Senators Chuck Schumer and Chris Coons, in particular, pushed representatives to include $1B for global vaccinations. But representatives were not capable of arriving at a consensus to fund that amount.

Schumer said that though an agreement could not be reached on this aspect of Coronavirus funding, many politicians on both sides were unswerving in their efforts to go for a 2nd supplemental later in the spring. He said that other countries are looking to the US to lead efforts in global vaccinations.

The funding deal was struck by lawmakers just before the recess started on April 9. Jen Psaki, the press secretary at theWhite House, said that the Biden Administration was appreciative of the work done by the Senate on the funding plan. He pressed Congress to move fast to push through with the funding.

The original administrative request for Coronavirus funding was $22.5B to take care of testing, treatments, and vaccines, and also for global vaccinations. The earlier $15.6B COVID funding proposal broke up in the House. The president had earlier requested additional COVID funding efforts as earlier allocations dried up.

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