Rep. Sewell Votes for $8.3 Billion Emergency Funding Bill to Fight Coronavirus

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) voted today to pass a $8.3 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill to address the coronavirus.

“Alabamians are rightfully worried about the Coronavirus, especially given the Trump Administration’s slow, unclear and inadequate response thus far. They deserve a coordinated, fully-funded response to ensure they and their loved ones stay safe,” Sewell said. “This emergency funding is critical to combatting this public health crisis, including the development of a vaccine, and I hope it is quickly considered in the Senate and signed into law.”

The emergency supplemental provides $8.3 billion in entirely new funding – not funding diverted from other critical public health priorities – to combat the coronavirus epidemic and keep Americans safe. It includes:

  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state and local health agencies;
  • Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity;
  • $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions;
  • $1.25 billion to address the coronavirus abroad to help keep Americans safe here at home; and
  • Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency.

The emergency supplemental also contains other strong provisions to ensure a full response. The bill:

  • Allows seniors to access telemedicine services for coronavirus treatment;
  • Requires the Trump administration to reimburse health accounts that were previously used to pay for the coronavirus response;
  • Ensures state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.

Text of the Coronavirus supplemental, H.R. 6074, is available here.

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