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Congresswoman Escobar Votes for Emergency Supplemental to Address Threat Posed by Coronavirus

Washington, March 4, 2020

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) voted for H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. This $8.3 billion emergency supplemental package will robustly address the coronavirus (COVID-19), including vaccine development, support for state and local governments, and assistance for affected small businesses. 

“As COVID-19 cases in the United States increase, El Pasoans expect and deserve a well-coordinated and fully-funded federal response to the coronavirus threat,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “Today, to ensure our government has the resources needed to address this public health crisis in a smart, scientific and strategic way, the House of Representatives voted on a strong supplemental package that will keep El Paso families safe. Now, the Senate must do their part and immediately send this package to the President’s desk so we can fully address the scale and seriousness posed by the coronavirus.”

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.

Additionally, the bill includes a requirement to reimburse $136 million to important health accounts, including mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention and heating and cooling assistance for low-income families, that was transferred by the Trump administration to support its response.

The text of the coronavirus supplemental, H.R. 6074, is here. A summary of H.R. 6074 is here.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for up-to-date news and information on prevention, outbreak, and response of COVID-19.

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