Huffman Votes to Pass Robust Coronavirus Supplemental During Public Health Crisis

March 04, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Huffman (D-San Rafael) voted to pass an $8.3 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill to fully address the coronavirus and protect Americans from the growing public health crisis.

The legislation provides all new funding for a robust response to this public health emergency. That includes $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing, and mitigation.

“Today, we saw the first loss of life in California from the coronavirus. With strong bipartisan support, the House has provided a serious, fully-funded, science-based supplemental funding bill, and it’s critical the Senate and President Trump move swiftly to enact it and save lives,” said Rep. Huffman. “Americans need a robust, coordinated response to this epidemic – not the kind of chaotic, partisan approach we’ve seen from the administration. I’m grateful to Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Speaker Pelosi for leading these negotiations with the urgency this public health crisis demands.”

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 supplemental package 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