Group of House Democrats asks for $250 billion for testing

Group of House Democrats asks for $250 billion for testing
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A trio of House Democrats on Thursday asked leaders on both sides of the aisle to include $250 billion for coronavirus testing in any upcoming coronavirus relief bill.

In a letter signed by Reps. Filemon VelaFilemon Bartolome VelaLobbying world COVID-19 is wild card as Pelosi faces tricky Speaker vote Sunday Democrats try to draft Cardenas to run campaign arm after disappointing night MORE (D-Texas), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonSix ways to visualize a divided America On The Trail: The political losers of 2020 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump admin to sell oil leases at Arctic wildlife refuge before Biden takes office |Trump administration approves controversial oil testing method in Gulf of Mexico | Rep. Scott wins House Agriculture Committee gavel MORE (D-Minn.) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), the lawmakers said "testing is the number one way to give us an objective, data-driven assessment of where we stand in our fight against this virus."

The lawmakers said funding testing and a viable contact tracing system is up to Congress, as the Trump administration "has failed to develop a national action plan."


"While we have made some gains in our nation’s testing capacity, with numbers now at 1.6 million diagnostic tests per week, health care experts say we are still woefully short of the estimated 30 million tests per week needed," they wrote.

The three Democrats said "Americans must feel a sense of security" before the economy reopens successfully.

Under their plan, testing would be prioritized for "health care workers on the frontlines, law enforcement, minority communities, seniors and food and agriculture workers as well as those showing symptoms."

The lawmakers said those groups would benefit most from extra testing, as they've been the most affected.

"As we have seen, essential workers and seniors are bearing the brunt of the impact of this virus, while minority communities have been disproportionately affected," they wrote.

The proposal would be pegged to an upcoming Democratic coronavirus response bill that Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-N.Y.) has labeled "Rooseveltian" in size.