Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
Coronavirus is the biggest topic for Congress this week, with a push to appropriate emergency funding to address preparedness in the United States. Earlier this week, the White House requested $2.5 billion in funding, while Congress is considering a proposal in the range of $6 billion- $8 billion. Funds would be appropriated to the Departments of Health and Human Services, State, Homeland Security, Defense, and possibly other agencies.
Discussions are ongoing whether this funding would come from all new appropriations (which has been the request of Congressional Democrats) or be a combination of new funding and transfers from existing funds (which was the White House’s initial proposal). It is likely that new funds would be considered “emergency funding” and would be appropriated outside the fiscal caps, which means the new funding would not need to be offset by cuts elsewhere.