WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. House of Representatives approved approximately $8 billion in supplemental funding to aggressively address the threat of the coronavirus in the United States, plus $500 million in mandatory funding that will be used to combat the virus through telehealth services. The emergency funding package includes $1 billion specifically for state and local response efforts nationwide, which will help prevent and combat the virus in Kentucky. The supplemental funding bill could be signed by President Trump this week.
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Hal Rogers made the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the legislation.
"This Coronavirus emergency supplemental provides $7.8 billion in additional appropriations for the U.S. response to coronavirus. Within the total, more than $2 billion is included for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $1 billion is for state and local preparedness. The bill also provides more than $4 billion for research and development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
"As Ranking Member of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee, I would also like to highlight the $1.25 billion in the bill for the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development. These funds will help protect Americans abroad and support efforts to contain the virus worldwide.
"Specifically, it includes $264 million to maintain consular operations, pay for evacuation expenses, and to address other emergency preparedness needs at our embassies and consulates around the world;
"$435 million in global health funds, including $200 million for the Emergency Reserve Fund that I established in 2017 to address emerging health threats abroad;
"$300 million of International Disaster Assistance funding to respond to humanitarian needs related to the coronavirus;
"$250 million for economic and security needs in countries facing instability because of the coronavirus; and
"$1 million for the USAID Inspector General to perform oversight of coronavirus response activities.
"The bill also requires a comprehensive strategy to respond to the coronavirus outbreak overseas and regular reporting on the use of funding.
"This is a good bill. The resources are needed urgently, and I urge my colleagues to vote ay."
Symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following actions to prevent the spread of any respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus for global updates.
Learn more about Congressman Rogers' work on Capitol Hill and in Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District by visiting halrogers.house.gov or engaging on social media through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.