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.
Go deeper: Bipartisan Senate group bids to block lifting Title 42