At a press conference on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced that she hopes to vote on new COVID-19 funding, at the White House's request, that was otherwise stripped from a funding bill last week.
''We'll have to get it done,'' Pelosi told reporters in New York, according to The Hill. ''It would be my hope that we could bring up a bill this week that would do at least part of that.''
Last week, Pelosi blamed Republicans on the failure to include $15.6 billion in funds for COVID-19 in the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package that passed. The move to ax the COVID funding, however, came after concerns from Democrats over a provision to offset costs of the $15.6 billion by taking back states' unspent money from last year's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Americans would face ''severe consequences'' if Congress could not allocate the ''$22.5 billion'' in COVID funding the White House requested.
Psaki says, ''the reason we've made the progress we have at this point is because we have been ahead of where the pandemic is, in terms of having the preparations, for the most part, of vaccines, of supplies needed.''
Pelosi noted on Monday her disappointment in failing to garner support for the bill's COVID funding.
''States are getting billions of dollars, we're taking a small percentage,'' she states to offset the cost of COVID funding.
''I was very disappointed, I have to say,'' she continued. ''I mean I usually would not say that to you. But this is the president's pivotal plan.''
The White House says COVID funding is urgently needed, and without it, the country's testing capacity will dip this month, and work on the next generation of vaccines for new variants will suffer.
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