CHAIRMAN BISHOP BACKS CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS BILL
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding the passage of the Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriations Bill by the full U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 415-2:
“After the recent months of illnesses and deaths from coronavirus, it was clear America needed a robust response to protect our citizens’ health. We on the Appropriations Committee worked quickly to put together the $8.3 billion supplemental to this public health emergency. I am pleased with the comprehensive and coordinated funding package, that includes vaccine development, support for state and local governments, and assistance for affected small businesses.”
Among its provisions, the emergency supplemental 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;
- $435 million to support health systems overseas to prevent, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus;
- $300 million to respond to humanitarian needs;
- $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions; and
- Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses.
The emergency supplemental also contains other strong provisions to ensure a full response and keep Americans safe. The bill:
- Requires that funds are only used to fight the coronavirus and other infectious diseases;
- Allows seniors to access telemedicine services for coronavirus treatment;
- Helps ensure that vaccines and treatments for coronavirus are affordable; and
- Ensures that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response.