Republicans are using a Trump-era immigration policy to hold up a bill to provide $10 billion in covid aid. Getting the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk before a two-week recess seems remote.
GOP Blocks Advancing COVID-19 Deal Amid Trump-Era Immigration Fight
Republicans on Tuesday blocked the Senate from advancing a $10 billion deal on coronavirus aid amid a stalemated fight over whether to attach a Trump-era immigration policy to the agreement. Absent a breakthrough, the stalemate would delay the coronavirus bill until after a two-week break that is expected to start by Friday. To pass the deal before that, they would need buy-in from all 100 senators. (Carney, 4/5)
Odds Dimming For Quick Passage Of $10B Virus Aid Package
The week is still young. But prospects for getting a bipartisan supplemental aid package for pandemic response efforts to President Joe Biden’s desk before a two-week recess seem increasingly remote. Without a deal on amendments Republicans want to offer, the Senate on Tuesday rejected a procedural motion needed to begin debate on the bill, which would provide $10 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to buy more therapeutics, vaccines and testing supplies and prepare for future virus variants. (McPherson, Simon and Weiss, 4/5)
White House Official: It’s In ‘National Interest’ To Vaccinate World Against COVID-19
White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients on Tuesday said it’s in the U.S.’s “national interest” to vaccinate the world against COVID-19 to protect against potential new variants, days after senators dropped global funding from a coronavirus spending deal. “It is a real disappointment that there’s no global funding in this bill. This virus knows no borders, and it’s in our national interest to vaccinate the world and protect against possible new variants,” Zients said during a White House COVID-19 briefing. (Schnell, 4/5)
U.S. Owes Pfizer $5 Billion For Covid Pills, Half Of Proposed Aid Package
The Biden administration is on the hook to pay Pfizer Inc. nearly $5 billion for pills it’s already ordered to treat Covid-19, meaning as much as half of a scaled-back pandemic funding bill the Senate is debating is already spoken for, according to officials familiar with the matter. Senators announced a deal Monday to provide $10 billion in new Covid funding, far less than the White House has requested. The true purchasing power of the package will be even less because of commitments the government’s already made, the officials said. (Wingrove, 4/5)
Congress Could Finally Pass A Covid Bill. They’ll Soon Have To Do It All Again.
The roughly $10 billion in pandemic aid the Senate is preparing to vote on after a weekslong impasse will keep the nation’s testing, treatment and vaccination programs afloat for only a couple months, lawmakers, Biden administration officials and public health experts warn. That tees up more bitter fights over Covid aid as early as this summer. (Ollstein and Banco, 4/5)
Burr Asks Biden Administration For Science Behind Title 42 Decision
Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), the senior Republican on the Senate Health Committee, on Tuesday sent a letter to the Biden administration asking the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reveal what science was used to justify lifting the Title 42 order limiting asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border. The administration has insisted the decision to rescind Title 42, the health order that has been used in expediting an estimated 1.7 million deportations, was based on science and not politics. (Bolton, 4/5)
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