Joe Biden, Congress Leave the Country’s Future Covid-19 Response In Limbo

If in the past the US was bracing for the predicted Covid-19 spikes this fall and winter, it’s even more murky now. Chairperson Joe Biden gave Congress the green light on Monday to push Ukraine aid “separately” from additional COVID funding — a decision that at least one top Democrat has a view on the pocketbook of. country said he was sorry. “We need both COVID and Ukraine,” Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick Leahy speak Politico. “We will have a real problem this fall with COVID and it would be wrong not to combine the two. I really regret it.”

Public health officials at the White House for months have warned that the United States risks “falling behind” on the progress it has made to weather the pandemic if Congress fails to provide more funding. for vaccines, treatments and testing. But Republicans continue to thwart the aid — first over questions about how the extra funds and the package’s overall price tag will be used and then political disputes over limits. pandemic immigration regime that the Biden administration plans to end later this month. Democrats tried to resolve the impasse in April by combining $10 billion in a proposed COVID fund with $33 billion in additional aid to help Ukraine bolster its defenses against Russia’s invasion, which officials fear could soon intensify further when Vladimir Putin more and more desperate. But Republicans refused to back down, and even some Democrats worried that loggers could lead to dangerous delays in Ukrainian money. The White House blinked first.

“This aid is critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield,” Biden said in a statement Monday. “We cannot allow our support shipments to stop while we await further congressional action.”

In many ways, the conclusion of this cockfight was expected. After blocking the miniature COVID bill last month, Republicans have explicitly warned against combining COVID and Ukraine claims, saying they will not approve any additional funds for the pandemic except as the Senate Majority Leader. Chuck Schumer authorizing a vote on Title 42, the border policy the Trump administration introduced early in the coronavirus crisis to allow for the rapid deportation of migrants apprehended at the border. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in April that it would end Title 42 on May 23, but Republicans — and some Democrats — have raised objections to being gay. scathing about the potential increase at the border, and GOP senators refused to continue unless a James Lankford The bill that would prevent the government from lifting the rule was put on the floor. “I don’t think until this Title 42 is resolved, things will continue with COVID,” Senator Roy BluntRepublican ranked fourth in the chamber, said last month.

By refusing to play hardball, Biden and the Democrats have virtually ensured that nearly $40 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine – more than the White House initially requested – will pass quickly, at the request of the president. That’s the flip side. On the downside, the fate of COVID funds, which he describes as “equally important,” is now murky. Republicans succeeded in reducing the proposal from $22.5 billion to $15.6 billion to a meager $10 billion, cutting off all funding for global efforts to tackle the pandemic. . What other concessions can Republicans make, now that COVID relief has been separated from Ukraine aid?

There have been some expressions of optimism on both sides of the aisle. Democratic Party member Richard Blumenthal forecast Politico that the Republican Party would “come to our senses and see a possible public health emergency and stop gaming with essential health care.” And the whip of the Senate minority John Thune speak CNN’s Manu Raju that the $10 billion figure could cross as soon as next week, depending on the Title 42 vote. But there’s good reason to be wary, considering what’s happened to Democrats in the past. when they agreed to pursue individual COVID relief: In March, they withdrew a $15.6 billion proposal to fight coronavirus from an omnibus spending plan due to lack of GOP support; Two months later, they are arguing over a $10 billion compromise that has become tangled in an even more complicated political controversy than the compromise that derailed the previous proposal. That doesn’t mean there won’t be another round of COVID aid in the end. But Democrats will likely have to make further concessions before they get any approval. “I predict that we will not be able to complete this Congress without a vote on Title 42,” said Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz told Politico. “And I predict we will have COVID aid.”

“Whether those things are connected,” Schatz added, “I don’t know.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/05/biden-congress-leave-covid-relief-in-limbo Joe Biden, Congress Leave the Country’s Future Covid-19 Response In Limbo

Zack Zwiezen

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