Congress Passes and President Trump Signs Emergency Funding Package for Coronavirus

  

By Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC

On March 6, President Trump signed into law an emergency supplemental funding package worth roughly $8.3 billion to address the coronavirus crisis. This followed the bill’s passage in the Senate by a 96-1 vote and by the House on Wednesday by a 415-2 vote.

This package, H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, includes nearly $7.8 billion in new funding, as well as a provision to expand telemedicine coverage through Medicare during the outbreak worth roughly $500 million. The Senate is expected to quickly take up the House-passed package, with a vote likely tomorrow, and President Trump could sign the package into law as soon as Friday.

The emergency supplemental funding package includes the following provisions:

  • $836 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • $826 million for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (for research and development on vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics)
    • $10 million for the National Institute on Environmental Health Sciences (for health worker training)
  • $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • $1 billion for state and local preparedness grants
    • $300 million for global health security
    • $300 million for the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Fund
  • $3.1 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund through HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) for “procurement of medical supplies to supplement the Strategic National Stockpile and support federal and state response efforts; research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics; and hospital and health system preparedness.“
    • $300 million for the purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics
    • $100 million for community health centers through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • $61 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for “pre- and post-market work on countermeasures, therapies, and vaccines; to monitor and mitigate any medical product shortage; and to strengthen the U.S. medical product manufacturing sector.”
  • $1.25 billion for Department of State and USAID
    • $264 million for diplomatic programs
    • $435 million for global health programs, including $200 million for the Emergency Reserve Fund
    • $300 million for international disaster assistance
    • $250 million for an economic support fund
    • $1 million for the Office of the Inspector General for resource oversight
    • Increases transfer threshold for emergency evacuations from $10 million to $100 million
  • $20 million for the Small Business Administration, for “for administrative expenses related to increased loan volume to help businesses affected by the outbreak.”

The funding for CDC, and the Department of State and USAID activities will be available through September 2022, while the remainder of the funding will be available through September 2024. The funding package requires that the Secretary of Health and Human Services provide a detailed plan for anticipated funds use to Congress within 30 days of passage. The package also includes a provision to reimburse any costs for activities contained in the package that were incurred between the start of the coronavirus outbreak (dated January 20, 2020) and its full implementation.