The Biden administration, according to The Hill, is facing pushback from lawmakers in their request of an additional $30 billion to fight COVID-19.
Although not formal, the vague request, which was outlined as a means to fund vaccines, testing capacity, and treatments, has been called out by lawmakers who cite that such funds to fight the virus have already been spent or have been allocated.
But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said such funding was needed “to ensure that we are well prepared to stay ahead of” Omicron and any future strains.
Still, the request is seeing pushback from a slate of Republicans, even some Democrats, who cite the waning virus and the rising inflation.
“Spending $30 billion more without proper oversight or a proper plan to end the public health emergency is not how we give Americans their freedom back,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said.
“It’s time,” she adds, “to unwind this pandemic of bureaucracy, get government out of the way, and allow Americans to return to normal life.”
For Democrats, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, Vt., expressed skepticism at the idea of adding money to fight COVID ahead of the March 11 deadline for funding the government.
“I’m not eager to add anything,” he said, noting the arduousness of previous government funding talks, which have taken “several months of negotiation.”