Who says Congress can’t work together?
It’s amazing how the prospect of hanging concentrates the minds of these Congress-critters wonderfully. Both Republicans and Democrats know they have to pass an emergency funding measure to deal with the growing coronavirus crisis. Rather than risk looking like dithering idiots while a pandemic sweeps the country, both sides have come to an agreement on how much funding should go to help stem the tide of the disease.
Congressional leaders in the House and Senate on Wednesday reached a bipartisan deal on a roughly $8 billion emergency funding bill to fight the coronavirus that has been spreading throughout the United States, according to Democratic and Republican appropriators.
The deal would provide $7.8 billion to fight the coronavirus and would include a mandatory funding authorization for $500 million over a 10-year period to be used toward a remote healthcare program.
Soon after the agreement’s overall framework was released, but before the legislation’s text was unveiled, two Democratic leadership sources told NBC that the House is expected to vote on the deal later in the day. It will need two-thirds of the House to pass it and leadership expects it to pass with bipartisan support.
Democrats pointed out the funding is five times what Trump proposed about two weeks ago. But it’s an impossibility to appropriate money when you don’t know how much is needed. Today, we have a much clearer idea of what is needed to fight the outbreak.
Apparently, congressional Democrats are so used to throwing money at problems without knowing what to spend it on, they just can’t break the habit.
In truth, both parties believe in “vending-machine science,” where they think that all you have to do is put some money in the slot and out comes a cure or a vaccine. Medical science doesn’t work that way and Congress has never been able to figure that out.
But the spending bill for coronavirus appears to be targeted about right.
The legislation would provide more than $2 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public health funding for prevention, preparedness and response.
It also would allocate more than $3 billion to a public health emergency fund and the National Institutes of Health for research and development of vaccines, treatment and testing of the coronavirus. The bill would also provide nearly $1.3 billion to help protect the health of Americans living abroad from the coronavirus.
A House Democratic aide said that the legislation would provide more than “$300 million to help ensure that, when a vaccine is developed, Americans can receive it regardless of their ability to pay.”
Of one thing we can be sure: there is nothing that could have been done to stop the spread of the virus to the United States. Democrats who continue to blather on and on claiming it wouldn’t have been this bad if Trump weren’t so incompetent—or maybe they’re so dumb they’ll claim that Trump administration stupidity led to more deaths than necessary—are playing politics with people’s lives and should be called out for it.
A planet that is wired wall to wall and seeing trillions of dollars in international trade means that every nation was bound to be affected by the coronavirus eventually.
The U.S. will be just fine and we don’t need a Democrat in the White House to save us.