Congress may punt $10 billion COVID funding package
Congress may punt on a $10 billion COVID preparedness funding package until the end of this month due to a fight over immigration policy.
Why it matters: The Biden administration has warned that it’s running out of money for countermeasures to ward off future pandemics and COVID surges — and has already paused testing and treatment for the uninsured.
Driving the news: With a two-week recess looming, Republican senators are demanding a vote on an amendment to the funding package that would block the administration’s plans to halt a pandemic-inspired public health policy called Title 42, used to rapidly expel migrants at the southern border.
- Some centrist Democratic senators support adding the Title 42 language to head off another border crisis — but that would make the underlying bill unacceptable to House progressives.
What’s next: The Senate could revisit the COVID funding package later this spring. But it is likely to remain stuck until Democrats resolve their internal differences over immigration and border policies.