Washington, D.C. — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today released the following statement on a bipartisan agreement reached on $10 billion emergency supplemental funding for President Biden’s COVID-19 response.
“After working through the weekend, Senator Romney and I have reached an agreement on a bipartisan COVID-19 Supplemental Appropriations package that will provide the Biden Administration with urgently needed funding to purchase vaccines and therapeutics, maintain access to testing and accelerate the work on next generation vaccine research. This $10 billion COVID package will give the federal government – and our citizens – the tools we need to continue our economic recovery, keep schools open and keep American families safe. But while this emergency injection of additional funding is absolutely necessary, it is well short of what is truly needed to keep us safe from the COVID-19 virus over the long-term. Nonetheless, President Biden supports this package and has asked the Senate and House to act quickly to get this bill to his desk.
“I am disappointed that our Republican colleagues could not agree to include the $5 billion in global health funding that was originally agreed to but omitted from the 2022 Omnibus. The international funding is something I feel is very important and will work to include in separate legislation. We are all more vulnerable to a major breakthrough variant if we do not support the numerous other countries with lower vaccination rates and fewer resources than the United States. America is the country other nations look to lead global vaccination efforts and we must continue that work. Additionally, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine has dramatically exacerbated food insecurity around the globe.
“While we were unable to reach an agreement on international aid in this new agreement, many Democrats and Republicans are committed to pursuing a second supplemental later this spring. It is my intention for the Senate to consider a bipartisan International appropriations package that could include additional aid for Ukraine as well as funding to address COVID-19 and food insecurity globally. I urge Senators on both sides of the aisle to continue negotiating a global vaccines funding package.
“Finally, I want to thank Senator Romney for leading the negotiations for the Senate Republicans and working in good faith to reach an agreement on much needed COVID funding. I also want to thank Senators Coons, Murray, Burr, Blunt and Graham for their help and support to reach this bipartisan agreement, and Chairman Leahy and his staff for their assistance putting the legislation together.”