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Warren introduces bill to redirect wall money to coronavirus

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo 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 SchumerBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Democrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial 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 PelosiDemocrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Pelosi suggests criminal charges for any lawmaker who helped with Capitol riot Pelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate 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 McCarthyGOP divided over Liz Cheney's future Democrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Pelosi suggests criminal charges for any lawmaker who helped with Capitol riot MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Overnight Defense: Trump impeached for second time | National Guard at Capitol now armed, swelling to 20K troops for inauguration | Alabama chosen for Space Command home Space Command to be located in Alabama 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 McConnellPelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate Democratic senator: COVID-19 relief is priority over impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history 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 TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE, meanwhile, has announced that Vice President Pence will oversee the government’s effort to combat the coronavirus.