Romney working on GOP counteroffer to new Dem COVID-19 funding plan
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said Thursday that he is working with GOP leadership on a COVID-19 funding counterproposal after receiving a new offer from Democrats.
“I got a proposal from them, and we’ve got a counterproposal we’re working on with our leadership,” Romney told The Hill on Thursday.
He said the proposals contain new ways to pay for the pandemic funding, and that Democrats proposed one set of pay-fors and Republicans will counter with a different set. He did not detail what the possible offsets are.
“I think we’re making progress,” Romney said.
A $1.5 trillion government funding bill signed into law earlier this month was going to include $15.6 billion in COVID-19 spending, but it was stripped out after a group of House Democrats objected to one of the offsets, namely using a portion of state aid from a previous relief bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier in the week that he was “working with Senator Romney and other Republicans in good faith to find some pay-fors that are acceptable to Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate.”
The White House has been sounding the alarm that the funding is urgently needed and calling on Congress to act. Without new funds, the administration is cutting back on the distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments to states, and a program to pay for tests and treatments for the uninsured is out of money.
Officials also say there is not enough money to purchase additional booster shots for all Americans if a fourth vaccine dose is needed.