WASHINGTON – This week, House Republicans unveiled the “Commitment to Defeat the Virus and Keep America Healthy Act” (H.R. 14), a targeted measure which would not only allow us to continue addressing the healthcare needs of those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but also use the lessons learned from this pandemic to ensure we are better prepared for future outbreaks. The bill, which is authored by Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC), includes provisions from the Appropriations Committee as well as the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees.
Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, said of the measure, “Congress has come together repeatedly to ensure we are able to meet and defeat this deadly virus – from providing necessary protection to frontline healthcare heroes, to ensuring Americans have access to testing and therapeutics to treat the coronavirus, to helping those individuals and businesses impacted by the pandemic. This bill demonstrates that not only do House Republicans believe we need to continue combating this pandemic, we know we must be prepared to meet and defeat future outbreaks. The lessons we are learning now will be the key to preventing future pandemics that would cripple our country and economy. I am proud to support this legislation and other targeted bills, such as those that will help small businesses and the airline industry, and I hope these pieces of legislation will be considered by the House.”
“Both Republicans and Democrats agree that Congress needs to provide additional federal aid to help our country more effectively combat the wrath of the coronavirus pandemic. While there are areas that may require more time to negotiate than others, that shouldn’t prevent Congress from moving to provide now for the most urgent needs, including strengthening our public health defense and pandemic preparedness. I am proud that H.R. 14, introduced by House Republicans, would not only replenish resources and provide reinforcements for our frontline health workers, but it would improve national testing and contract tracing capabilities and importantly support eventual delivery of a vaccine and lifesaving treatments,” added Congressman Tom Cole, Lead Republican on the Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee.
In particular, the Appropriations Committee section of the bill would provide $47 billion to:
- Ensure our frontline healthcare heroes have the gloves, masks, ventilators and other equipment necessary to keep themselves safe and continue treating those Americans suffering from the coronavirus;
- Increase funding for testing and contact tracing to ensure that new outbreaks can be stopped before they spiral out of hand;
- Provide resources to develop and distribute vital vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for this and future viruses;
- Shore up the Strategic National Stockpile to ensure we are always prepared to meet and defeat future public health crises; and
- Implement important safeguards to ensure these funds are used appropriately.
To learn more about the full bill, click here.
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