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The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 6074) is an act of Congress enacted on March 6, 2020. The legislation provided emergency supplemental appropriations of $8.3 billion in fiscal year 2020 to combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and counter the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The legislation passed the House 415–2 on March 4 and the Senate 96–1 on March 5, 2020. The legislation received broad bipartisan support.

Proposal and negotiation process

On February 24, 2020, the Trump administration asked Congress for $2.5 billion in emergency funding to combat the pandemic.[1] The Republican chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Richard Shelby of Alabama, criticized the $2.5 billion as a "low ball" request.[2] "Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were alarmed by what they deemed as the president’s paltry request to fight the bug amid criticism that his administration has bungled its response and failed to keep the American people clued in about the potential severity of the outbreak."[3] Shortly after the Trump administration requested the $2.5 billion, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled a plan for "$8.5 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus."[4]

In the days leading up to the passage of the bill in the House and the Senate, negotiations had slowed down because of "partisan disagreements on providing affordable access to treatment."[5] One of the main issues that caused disagreement and slow-down of the bill was vaccine affordability.[3]

Several senators praised the process as cooperative and bipartisan. Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, stated "We worked together to craft an aggressive and comprehensive response that provides the resources the experts say they need to combat this crisis. I thank my colleagues for their cooperation and appreciate President Trump's eagerness to sign this legislation and get the funding out the door without delay."[5] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated on March 4, 2020, of the bill that: "The way to secure these urgently-needed resources with speed and certainty was to forgo partisan posturing, forgo micromanagement at the leadership level, and let bipartisan appropriators do their work."[5]

The sponsor of the bill was representative Nita Lowey of New York, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee.[6][5]

Contents

The bill includes $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.[6][7] The $8.3 billion is divided into $7.8 billion in discretionary appropriations and $500 million in mandatory spending.[8] The $500 million is for "Medicare telehealth mandatory spending, which would allow Medicare providers to furnish telemedicine services to seniors."[8]

Broken down by category, the bill provides funding for the following purposes:

  • More than $3 billion for "research and development of vaccines, as well as therapeutics and diagnostics"
  • $2.2 billion "in public health funding to aid in prevention, preparedness and response efforts — including $950 million to support state and local agencies"
  • Almost $1 billion for "medical supplies, health-care preparedness, Community Health Centers and medical surge capacity"
  • $1.25 billion to fight COVID-19 internationally.[9]

Broken down organizationally, the bill provides emergency supplemental funding for the following departments and agencies with the United States Department of Health and Human Services:

Outside of HHS, the bill provides additional funding for:

Passage

[1] The Republican chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Richard Shelby of Alabama, criticized the $2.5 billion as a "low ball" request.[2] "Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were alarmed by what they deemed as the president’s paltry request to fight the bug amid criticism that his administration has bungled its response and failed to keep the American people clued in about the potential severity of the outbreak."[3] Shortly after the Trump administration requested the $2.5 billion, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled a plan for "$8.5 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus."[4]

In the days leading up to the passage of the bill in the House and the Senate, negotiations had slowed down because of "partisan disagreements on providing affordable access to treatment."[5] One of the main issues that caused disagreement and slow-down of the bill was vaccine affordability.[3]

Several senators praised the process as cooperative and bipartisan. Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, stated "We worked together to craft an aggressive and comprehensive response that provides the resources the experts say they need to combat this crisis. I thank my colleagues for their cooperation and appreciate President Trump's eagerness to sign this legislation and get the funding out the door without delay."[5] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated on March 4, 2020, of the bill that: "The way to secure these urgently-needed resources with speed and certainty was to forgo partisan posturing, forgo micromanagement at the leadership level, and let bipartisan appropriators do their work."[5]

The sponsor of the bill was representative Nita Lowey of New York, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee.[6][5]

[5] One of the main issues that caused disagreement and slow-down of the bill was vaccine affordability.[3]

Several senators praised the process as cooperative and bipartisan. Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, stated "We worked together to craft an aggressive and comprehensive response that provides the resources the experts say they need to combat this crisis. I thank my colleagues for their cooperation and appreciate President Trump's eagerness to sign this legislation and get the funding out the door without delay."[5] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated on March 4, 2020, of the bill that: "The way to secure these urgently-needed resources with speed and certainty was to forgo partisan posturing, forgo micromanagement at the leadership level, and let bipartisan appropriators do their work."[5]

The sponsor of the bill was representative Nita Lowey of New York, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee.[6][5]

The bill includes $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.[6][7] The $8.3 billion is divided into $7.8 billion in discretionary appropriations and $500 million in mandatory spending.[8] The $500 million is for "Medicare telehealth mandatory spending, which would allow Medicare providers to furnish telemedicine services to seniors."[8]

Broken down by category, the bill provides funding for the following purposes:

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