U.S. Congress announces deal on $10 billion in COVID-19 funding By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) walks by way of the Senate Subway on his technique to a safety briefing for senators on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -An settlement to supply $10 billion in U.S. funding for COVID-19 assist has been reached in the Senate, lawmakers stated on Monday.

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Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, the highest Democrat in the chamber, and Republican Senator Mitt Romney hailed the deal, however Schumer stated he was disenchanted that an settlement on $5 billion of worldwide well being funding had not additionally been reached.

The deal gives $10 billion in funding for COVID wants and therapeutics by repurposing unspent COVID funds. It’s effectively under the $22.5 billion the Biden administration had sought.

Senate Republicans demanded any new requests for COVID funding be paid for by repurposing present funds from prior COVID reduction funds. Romney stated the deal repurposes “$10 billion to supply wanted home COVID well being response instruments.”

The White Home stated it was “grateful for the Senate’s work on a bipartisan plan to assist meet among the nation’s COVID response wants” however nonetheless desires extra funding.

It urged Congress “to maneuver promptly on this $10 billion bundle as a result of it may start to fund essentially the most rapid wants, as we at present run the danger of not having some important instruments like therapies and exams beginning in Might and June.”

Schumer stated the invoice gives “urgently wanted funding to buy vaccines and therapeutics, keep entry to testing and speed up the work on subsequent technology vaccine analysis.”

Romney famous the settlement doesn’t embody funding for the U.S. international vaccination program, however he stated he’s “keen to discover a fiscally-responsible resolution.”

The invoice cuts $2.31 billion from a COVID program to spice up aviation manufacturing and restore companies. The U.S. Transportation Division supplied $673 million nationwide in three rounds of awards in the $3 billion program to assist aviation jobs. Some main aerospace firms like Boeing (NYSE:) and Common Electrical (NYSE:) opted to not take part.

It additionally eliminates practically $2 billion in grant funding for shuttered venues like stay efficiency venues, museums, and film theaters. This system stopped taking purposes in August.

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