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Beyer Votes For Strong Coronavirus Response Funding Package

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today voted for H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The $8.3 billion appropriations package will fund a strong response to coronavirus, including medical research and vaccine development, support for state and local governments, and small business assistance.

“The House today did our jobs, put aside partisanship, and advanced robust legislation funding an effective response to keep Americans safe from coronavirus,” said Rep. Beyer. “The funding we passed far surpasses the grossly inadequate White House request without stealing money from other vital programs. With realistic funding in hand, it is our hope that the Administration will be in a better position to lead a coordinated, science-based response that shares accurate information, contains the spread of the disease, and keeps Americans safe.”

Beyer’s vote came as he led 60 House Democrats in a letter sharply criticizing President Trump’s leadership and lack of strategy on the coronavirus response. Beyer yesterday raised pointed questions with Treasury Secretary and Coronavirus Taskforce Member Steven Mnuchin about the differing information from administration officials about testing capacity for the virus.

President Trump’s initial request to Congress sought only $1.25 billion in new funding to combat the outbreak. The proposal advanced in the House contains $8.3 billion in funding, which 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 & 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
  • Allows billions in funding for low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency
  • $300 million so the government can purchase vaccines at a fair and reasonable price