BY PETER SULLIVAN – 03/03/22
THE HILL – The Biden administration is requesting $22.5 billion from Congress for the COVID-19 response, setting up a tussle with Republican lawmakers who have resisted new funding.
In a letter to Congress dated Wednesday, the White House said the additional funds are crucial for efforts around vaccines, treatments, and testing.
In addition, $5 billion of the funding will go towards the global COVID-19 response, including vaccinating other countries, which is key to helping stop new variants from arising.
“Without additional resources, we won’t be able to secure the treatments, vaccines, and tests Americans need in coming months and fight future variants,” wrote acting Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young.
The White House is urging that the funding be included in a broader government funding bill that faces a March 11 deadline.
Republicans have pushed back on new COVID-19 funds, pointing to the billions already provided for the virus response.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Wednesday led 35 other Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), in a letter telling the administration they want a “full accounting” of money already spent “before we would consider” new COVID-19 funds.
Young, though, said that “nearly all” of the previous funding has been used … read more.