Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
Last week the House and Senate passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020. The bill includes $2.2 billion funding at the CDC, $950 million of which is designated to support states in:
The bill also includes a provision to reimburse states for costs associated with preparing for and responding to the coronavirus from January 20 until March 6. STD programs that have incurred losses due to a State’s response to the coronavirus should be eligible to re-coup those loses with this provision in the bill.
Late Wednesday night, the House unveiled the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill would:
House Democrats and Republicans disagreed over the sick leave measure in the package, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been in talks and are expected to come to a deal today.
President Trump is expected to sign a declaration that would unlock resources to help offset the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak; however, the exact date of when he will sign a declaration is still unclear.
Signing a declaration could tap into the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) resources to help states build shelters and mobile hospitals as well as help with transportation and shelter. NCSD will keep you updated on when this will happen and what it means for states.
This week, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the United States’ response to COVID-19. During the hearing Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were questioned about the limited availability of tests kits. During the hearing Dr. Fauci stated “the system is not really geared to what we need right now.” Dr. Fauci also said that there will be many more COVID-19 tests coming out very shortly, which should help with concerns around the number of people being tested.