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What we're hearing: COVID funding pushback

Illustration of Lady Justice holding a megaphone.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Top GOP appropriator Sen. Richard Shelby isn't sold on the White House's pitch for roughly $10 billion to fight COVID-19 in the end of year package.

What they’re saying: “It's not just me, it’s a lot of us up here they haven’t convinced,” Shelby told Axios.

  • He pointed to the money that Congress has already appropriated on COVID-19.
  • The new money would go to priorities like research on next-generation vaccines that better fight a range of variants.

Our thought bubble: The White House’s requests on COVID aid for months haven’t been going very far, as the public urgency lessens. If this time is going to be any different, Democrats are going to have to make a harder push and make it a priority in end of year negotiations.

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