Officials involved in negotiations with Senate Republicans, confirm the Trump administration wants to block billions from the new Coronavirus relief bill for states to conduct testing and contact tracing.
The administration is also trying to block billions of dollars that GOP senators want to allocate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and billions more for the Pentagon and State Department to address the pandemic at home and abroad, the people said.
The administration’s posture has angered some GOP senators, the officials said, and some lawmakers are trying to push back and ensure that the money stays in the bill. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal confidential deliberations, cautioned that the talks were fluid and the numbers were in flux.
One person involved in the talks said Senate Republicans were seeking to allocate $25 billion for states to conduct testing and contact tracing, but that certain administration officials want to zero out the testing and tracing money entirely. Some White House officials believe they have already approved billions of dollars in assistance for testing and that some of that money remains unspent.The Washington Post-
Next week, Moscow Mitch plans to unveil a new Coronavirus relief bill, which has already caused contention with the Democratic Party. The two parties are worlds apart on the size and scope of what lawmakers believe will be the last relief package before the general election in November. Some lawmakers want to expedite the matter because in the less than two weeks, millions of Americans will lose their enhanced unemployment benefits.