By: Just the News
The Biden administration says it needs at least $30 billion to keep its wide-ranging COVID-19 response strategy firing on all cylinders.
The request was made to Congress on Tuesday by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Becerra and the administration reportedly would like the money included in Congress' omnibus spending bill that is supposed to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2022.
Politico reports, that an HHS spokesperson confirmed that Becerra expressed to lawmakers "the need for additional resources to support securing more life-saving treatments and vaccines, sustaining testing capacity, and investing in research and development of next-generation vaccines."
The request appears to signal the administration is running low on COVID response money, and federal agencies in addition to HHS are also expected to request more funding.
Congress has approved roughly $4.5 trillion in total COVID-related spending since the pandemic started in March 2019.
A bipartisan group of senators is reportedly agreeable to continually appropriating funds for the government's COVID response but some GOP lawmakers are asking about where previous funding has gone.
"We all know there’s a lot of money that hasn’t been spent. I’ve asked some staffers on [congressional Appropriations committees] to put together some numbers on that," Alabama GOP Sen. Richard Shelby said Tuesday.