Republicans Signal Opposition to New Covid Funds

Republicans Signal Opposition to New Covid Funds

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GOP lawmakers said Wednesday that they have no interest in providing additional funds for the federal response to Covid-19 and monkeypox.

As we told you yesterday, the Biden administration plans to request $47 billion in emergency funding as part of a bill that needs to pass before October 1 in order to avoid a government shutdown, with $22.4 billion for Covid-19 and $4.5 billion for monkeypox.

But Republican Senators told Politico’s Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett that the White House should use unspent money from previous emergency spending packages – and that Democrats have already spent too much.

“They do $1.9 trillion in March of last year, which ignited inflation, and now they just write off — I think illegally — student loans for another $300 billion?” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). “And now they’re coming back for more. At some point you’ve got to tell the alcoholic no.”

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) agreed that Republicans would have “zero interest” in new funding, while predicting that “this process will get really messy the more things they try to drop in.”

Although GOP opposition means there’s a good chance the emergency funding request will be withdrawn, Democrats say they will push ahead. “I hope we can persuade them,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “It’s in everybody’s interest to get that funding both for Covid and monkeypox. It’s important to public health and I do think there are a number of Republicans who recognize that.”