House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she wants the Biden administration to seek out tens of billions more dollars in COVID-19 relief funds.
The Biden administration had asked Congress for $22.5 billion in COVID-19 relief money as part of a government funding omnibus, but the pandemic money was scrapped due to infighting amongst Pelosi’s Democratic caucus. Now, Pelosi says the administration should ask for even more money on its own, upwards of $40 billion.
In a private caucus meeting this morning, Speaker NANCY PELOSI apologized to Biden administration officials for having to come to Capitol Hill to ask the president’s own party for help — then turned her ire on her members. The latest in Playbook PM: https://t.co/0I6DGIN2sB
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“I think they should be double what they asked for, because even when they were asking for like 20-some [billion dollars] it was only going to get us to June,” Pelosi said Thursday in the Capitol. She met before the comments with other Democratic leaders and top health officials from the Biden administration, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to the Hill.
The $22.5 billion previously requested by the administration would have been used for further vaccinating Americans, purchasing treatments like antivirals and monoclonal antibodies and providing global relief to the developing world, which is under-vaccinated compared to rich countries. (RELATED: The Biden Administration Is Ignoring The Science On Airplane Masking)
“What I’ve said to the administration is … you must ask for more. Because we need more, and you can’t expect money, this, to turn around just like that because the legislative process takes time,” Pelosi added. “We want it to be bipartisan; we need it to be paid for. And so let’s just go for a bigger chunk.”