Congress Talks Coronavirus, Surveillance, 2020

It was a bit of a slow week on Capitol Hill, as the House didn’t start work in earnest until Wednesday while the Senate took the day off. But there was still a buzz in the Capitol about how best to respond to the coronavirus, a topic that dominated the minds of lawmakers and reporters.

There was significant pushback from both parties to President Trump’s request for $2.5 billion to combat the virus. Most of the concerns, not surprisingly, came from Democrats, who decried the figure as too low and who characterized the administration’s response as too slow and disorganized. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants $8.5 billion, pointing out that Congress appropriated more than $6 billion to guard against a global pandemic flu in 2006 and more than $7 billion for the H1N1 flu in 2009.

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