DENVER — Two Congressmen, including Republican Ken Buck from Colorado, voted against an emergency funding package to combat the spread of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus.
The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act would dedicate $8.3 billion to vaccine research, prevention measures and helping local agencies. The motion passed the U.S. House on Wednesday afternoon with bipartisan support. The Senate is also expected to approve the measure, which will send it through to Pres. Donald Trump.
Buck wrote on Twitter that the plan was too vague.
"Since day 1, Democrats have politicized the coronavirus. The president’s initial $2.5 billion request was a thoughtful proposal to address our coronavirus response needs," he said. "In typical fashion, the House passed a spending package of $8.3 billion with vague plans about how the extra money would be spent. Throwing money at a problem without adequate forethought is not the answer."
Republican Andy Biggs from Arizona cast the second dissenting vote. On Twitter, Biggs also lamented Congressional politics and said the package was "larded up."
"In true D.C. fashion, Congress turned the president’s reasonable $2.5 billion #coronavirus funding request into a bloated $8.3 billion package. By passing this larded-up bill, Congress again fails to wisely appropriate taxpayer dollars," he wrote.
The Trump administration requested $1.25 billion last month to fight COVID-19. Together with funding from other sources, including money that had been dedicated to fighting Ebola, the White House's proposed emergency fund would have totaled $2.5 billion.
The Senate could discuss the measure as early as Thursday.
Eleven Americans have died because of COVID-19.
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