Congressman Fred Keller votes to support Coronavirus supplemental spending bill

March 4, 2020
Press Release
Bill will ensure that governments and health care providers are able to respond to Coronavirus

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) voted on Wednesday to support the $7.8 billion supplemental funding bill aimed at responding the Coronavirus.

 

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Bill:

  • Sets aside $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available, support treatments to ease symptoms, invest in vaccine development and procure vaccines when available. This amount also has set-asides for the Food and Drug Administration to protect the integrity of medical products manufactured overseas and identify and prevent potential shortages;
  • Provides $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a robust response, including: $1 billion for state and local response efforts and $200 million for the CDC’s Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund;
  • $20 million to administer disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by the virus;
  • $1.25 billion for the State Department and USAID to protect Americans abroad and prevent the spread of the virus worldwide.

 

The supplemental appropriations bill comes after preventative and decisive action already taken by President Donald Trump, his administration, and Congress:

  • President Trump and his administration took decisive and preventative action to restrict travel and place strict quarantines on those affected with Coronavirus. Those decisions have helped prevent the spread of the disease in the United States.
  • President Trump named Vice President Mike Pence as head of the Coronavirus Task Force responsible for leading and coordinating the government response to Coronavirus.
  • In June of 2019, Congress also passed—and President Trump signed—the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, which reauthorized our public health preparedness and response programs.
  • Over the past four years, funding has increased for the National Institute of Health, Center for Disease Control, and infectious disease response.

 

On the legislation, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) made the following statement:

 

“This supplemental spending bill is an important step to ensuring federal, state, and local authorities—as well as healthcare providers—have the resources they need to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak. Our office remains in contact with federal, state, and local governments and those responsible for keeping us safe and healthy. I am confident that everything is being done with the full weight of authority to respond to the Coronavirus.

 

“While I encourage people to remain cautious, panic is not warranted. Simple preventative measures like thorough handwashing, limiting unnecessary contact, and remaining home from work or school while sick are simple ways to prevent the spread of Coronavirus or any communicable illness.”

 

###