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Senate approves $8.3 billion total coronavirus response package

The Senate voted on Thursday to overwhelmingly approve a sweeping spending package to direct billions of dollars toward the US government's response to...

Posted: Mar 5, 2020 12:22 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2020 12:30 PM

The Senate voted on Thursday to overwhelmingly approve a sweeping spending package to direct billions of dollars toward the US government's response to the coronavirus outbreak as lawmakers scramble to fight the spread of the disease.

The package will next be sent to the White House for the President's signature. It passed the House on Wednesday with broad, bipartisan support.

The finally tally for the Senate vote was 96-1. Sen. Rand Paul was the lone senator to vote against the measure. Ahead of the vote on final passage, the Kentucky Republican also offered an amendment to the coronavirus funding package that would offset costs by canceling some foreign aid spending. But the Senate voted to table, or kill, the motion.

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The agreement provides $7.8 billion in appropriations to address the outbreak of coronavirus as well as an authorization for $500 million in mandatory spending to fund a telehealth program in an effort to expand access to health services for seniors for a total of $8.3 billion in all.

Lawmakers have been meeting for days to hammer out a package to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The total funding package that will be allocated by the deal is an amount far higher than the $2.5 billion White House request. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed $8.5 billion to deal with the outbreak.

Last week, however, the President opened the door to a higher spending level to combat coronavirus than what the White House initially requested, saying, 'We'll spend whatever is appropriate.'

The White House is expected to back the deal with President Donald Trump tweeting on Wednesday after the House approved the package, 'Congress has agreed to provide $8 Billion to fight Coronavirus!' and 'This is great news for our Health, our Economy, and our Nation!'

Some Republican senators, though, expressed unease at the price tag of the deal.

GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said ahead of the final vote that he anticipated some budget-conscious Republicans would vote against the package because of its large price tag, though he didn't indicate who might oppose it.

'Not everyone will vote for the bill. But they would not have voted for it at $2.2 billion either,' Blunt said, referring to the much smaller original supplemental request from the White House.

In a show of bipartisan support, however, GOP Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the chair of the Appropriations Committee, and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking member on the committee, both spoke on the floor about the legislation ahead of the final vote.

'Today we face a serious global crisis with the spread of the coronavirus, we all know that. The American people, I believe, expect us here in the US Senate to set aside politics and set into motion a swift and sweeping response to this danger,' Shelby said.

Leahy said in his own remarks on the floor, 'We have tried to set an example, the two of us, from two different parties, two different parts of the country, I think it's fair to say two different political philosophies. We have come together on this as we have on so many other issues in appropriations to give an example to our colleagues of what we think is best.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 205030

Reported Deaths: 2730
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40113612
Washington26647247
Marion23258322
Clackamas18748234
Lane13772158
Jackson11420146
Deschutes993180
Umatilla851786
Linn550479
Klamath475377
Yamhill474779
Polk393755
Douglas378580
Malheur359763
Josephine352972
Benton323922
Jefferson235738
Coos215737
Columbia188629
Union148724
Wasco143429
Lincoln141221
Crook127423
Hood River121633
Morrow115016
Clatsop10268
Baker99215
Curry68510
Tillamook6604
Grant5477
Lake4667
Harney4149
Wallowa1945
Gilliam751
Sherman661
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3801728

Reported Deaths: 63193
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124612924434
Riverside3013124618
San Bernardino2989764788
San Diego2812033770
Orange2726505103
Santa Clara1198942175
Kern1106041400
Sacramento1071991718
Fresno1027831720
Alameda893401285
Ventura815541028
San Joaquin744011432
Contra Costa70276810
Stanislaus631901068
Tulare49758849
Monterey43791419
San Mateo42604581
San Francisco37189555
Santa Barbara34572460
Solano33569266
Merced32253474
Sonoma30688323
Imperial28799741
Placer23345298
Kings23166247
San Luis Obispo21405261
Madera16586245
Santa Cruz16202208
Marin14170229
Yolo14118212
Shasta12580232
Butte12576194
El Dorado10339116
Napa998680
Sutter9614112
Yuba644850
San Benito609563
Lassen577524
Tehama571663
Nevada487875
Humboldt441546
Mendocino427450
Tuolumne418569
Amador372147
Lake355245
Glenn242527
Siskiyou238637
Colusa227918
Calaveras220056
Del Norte14488
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7356
Modoc5344
Mariposa4617
Trinity4165
Sierra1130
Alpine890
Unassigned330
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