Congress Agrees on $8 Billion to Fight COVID-19
March 4, 2020
U.S. House and Senate Congressional leaders have agreed on a bipartisan deal (H.R. 6074) to provide $8.3 billion in new emergency funding to fight the coronavirus. The measure is expected to pass both chambers as early as this week, and President Trump has signaled he will sign it.
According to a press release from House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), the bill includes:
- $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct activities such as surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing, and mitigation;
- More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
- $2.2 billion for public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response;
- Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support community health centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;
- $434 million to support health systems overseas to prevent, prepare, and respond to the virus;
- $300 million to respond to humanitarian needs;
- $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions; and
- Allowance for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses.
The text of H.R. 6074 is available here, and a summary is available here.
In addition, the Congressional Budget Office released its estimate of H.R. 6074 today.