(WETM) – The stimulus bill is looking like it will pass in the Senate without Republican support. Now the budget will return to the house, where it will have to be approved again due to the changes made by the Senate.
In the meantime, Congressman Tom Reed is calling for an immediate vote on a $160 billion “defeating COVID-19” vaccine distribution package while negotiations on a relief package continue.
“We continue to support ongoing, bipartisan talks for a targeted stimulus package. Unfortunately, regardless of whether stimulus goes the way of bipartisanship or reconciliation, it is clear either path will take time,” Reed said in a statement. “We simply do not have time to spare when the lives of the American people are at stake as new variants of the virus are emerging daily. For the sake of protecting the lives of our fellow Americans, we must unite and act now in support of vaccines. By quickly increasing federal funding for testing, vaccine distribution, and other key initiatives, we can get more shots in arms, safely reopen our economy, and finally defeat this virus. Congress and the Biden Administration must work together to immediately pass this vaccine-boosting package and prioritize the health and safety of the American people.”
Here is a breakdown of where the $160 billion would go towards:
- National Vaccine Program in partnership with states, tribes, and territories: $20B
- Massive expansion of testing: $50B
- Disaster Relief Fund: $30B
- Defense Production Act Title III: $5B
- PPE for first responders, independent physicians offices, and dentists: $5B
- Rebuilding and restocking the National Strategic Stockpile: $15B
- Provider Relief Fund with 20% set aside for rural hospitals: $35B