WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Capitol Hill congressional leaders reached a tentative agreement on another round of COVID relief. But not everyone is on board.
Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene is one of those opposed to the deal to approve $10 billion to fight COVID.
“Congress wants to spend more money for future COVID, for future vaccines, for future variants,” Greene said on the floor of the House. “There’s no need to do so.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Congress will approve the funding. “Putting in the work today to keep our nation prepared against new variants will make it less likely that we get caught off guard,” he said.
The money earmarked by Congress will go toward continuing to provide free COVID vaccines and tests to Americans as well as therapeutic treatments. But the $10 billion Congress plans to approve is much less than the $22 billion President Joe Biden was hoping for.
Biden said without more funding from Congress critical supplies could begin to run out. Now the White House said this package is a jumping off point.
“This does not, well, obviously not, meet all of those needs, dire needs,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
The White House said money for international vaccine efforts is vital. Lawmakers stripped money for those international vaccine efforts out of the package.
But some Republicans are also considering tying passage of the $10 billion agreement to renewal of Title 42, the pandemic rule that keeps most asylum seekers out of the US. Some Democrats may also be on board with this idea.
If it’s approved, this COVID relief package would not include any direct payments to Americans.