Washington: The White House is trying to block billions of dollars for coronavirus testing and contact tracing in the upcoming stimulus relief bill, according to a new report in The Washington Post, even as infections surge across the country and Americans face long wait times to receive test results amid high demand.
The Trump administration also wants to block billions of dollars that would go toward bolstering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pentagon and the State Department to combat the pandemic, the Post reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the deliberations.
Some GOP lawmakers, angered by the administration’s position, are pushing back and trying to keep the $25 billion for testing and tracing in the bill, people involved in the negotiations told the Post. Some White House officials reportedly believe new money shouldn’t be allocated for testing because previous assistance funds remain unspent.
While moving to block testing assistance, the Trump administration is trying to use the legislation to fund priorities unrelated to the pandemic such as a new FBI building, according to the Post.