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Warren introduces bill to redirect wall money to coronavirus

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel The Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns MORE (D-Mass.) introduced legislation on Thursday to redirect border wall funding to combating the coronavirus.

The bill, according to Warren’s office, would result in approximately $10 billion being shifted from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Rather than use taxpayer dollars to pay for a monument to hate and division, my bill will help ensure that the federal government has the resources it needs to adequately respond to this emergency,” the 2020 Democratic hopeful said in a statement. 

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The White House has suggested $2.5 billion to combat the coronavirus, while Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill Biden to host Sinema for meeting on infrastructure proposal MORE (D-N.Y.) is requesting $8.5 billion. 

What number lawmakers will end up at as they negotiate on a supplemental bill remains unclear.

“The United States government must do more to address the spread of the deadly coronavirus in a smart, strategic, and serious way and we stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion in Congress and with the administration to achieve this necessary goal,” Schumer and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Job openings jump to record high of 8.1 million | Wyden opposes gas tax hike | Airlines feel fuel crunch Pelosi: House Democrats want to make child tax credit expansion permanent Pelosi announces change to House floor mask rules MORE (D-Calif.) said on Thursday in a joint statement.

“Lives are at stake — this is not the time for name-calling or playing politics,” they added.

Top Republicans — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse fails to pass drug bill amid Jan. 6 tensions READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyRepublicans embrace Trump in effort to reclaim Senate Top Senate Democrat announces return of earmarks Senate GOP keeps symbolic earmark ban MORE (R-Ala.) — have also indicated that they want a higher number than the initial White House offer. 

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill Republican governor of Arkansas says 'Trump is dividing our party' MORE (R-Ky.) characterized the White House figure as an “initial request.”

“It’s our job to ensure that funding is not a limiting factor as public health leaders and front-line medical professionals continue getting ready,” he said.

The haggling over funding comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday announced the first case of coronavirus in the United States with an “unknown” origin. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE, meanwhile, has announced that Vice President Pence will oversee the government’s effort to combat the coronavirus.