Senate Directs Aid to American People Amidst Coronavirus Crisis, Sends Package to President's Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today passed the emergency supplemental funding package in an effort to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus.  The legislation provides $8.3 billion in total resources and was approved by a vote of 96-1.  Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) issued the following statement on the agreement:


“I am pleased Congress has swiftly passed this emergency supplemental to combat the dangerous Coronavirus.  It includes what our experts say they need.  It attacks the crisis at the local, state, federal, and international levels.  And it brings to bear the full resources of the federal government.  I want to thank my colleagues for their support and cooperation in advancing this package, and I look forward to President Trump signing it into law.  As I have said before, this is not about politics; this is about doing our job to protect the American people from a deadly disease.” 


The legislation was filed and passed Wednesday in the House of Representatives by a vote of 415-2.  The package will allow for necessary precautions, prevention, and treatment at the local, state, federal, and international levels.  The funding in the legislation is specifically designated for Coronavirus prevention, preparation, and response efforts – with 85 percent to be spent domestically.  The package provides funding through the Departments of Health and Human Services ($6.497 billion) and State ($1.25 billion), as well as the Food and Drug Administration ($61 million) and the Small Business Administration ($20 million).  Further, the package authorizes an additional $500 million in mandatory spending for telehealth through Medicare.