President Joe Biden on Wednesday renewed his pressure campaign on Congress to urgently approve new funding for covid-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests.
In a statement, the White House sounded alarm bells about the lack of funds and warned that the United States could run out of the resources it needs against covid-19 if Congress does not act soon.
Other countries have already begun to buy the products that are needed in case the pandemic worsens, but the US is not doing so due to lack of funds, the White House warned.
“Covid-19 is not waiting for Congress to negotiate. Other countries will not wait. Time is pressing. Congress must act urgently to save more American lives and to ensure that we continue to be prepared ,” the White House said.
The Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who returned to Washington this week after the Easter recess, still do not agree on the approval of a new financing package.
Approval of new funds appeared to have been close in early April when Democrats and Republicans agreed to a $10 billion package.
That figure was lower than the 22,500 that Biden had asked for, but he had in principle the support of all Democrats and the moderate wing of Republicans.
However, at the last moment, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, announced that his party would only approve the covid-19 package if an amendment was included to maintain Title 42, which has allowed the expulsion of undocumented migrants during the pandemic and that Biden wants to rescind.
That Title 42 amendment was not included in the bill, and Republicans blocked passage of the $10 billion funding package to fight COVID-19.
McConnell said on Wednesday that his party will continue to fight for Biden not to suspend Title 42 , so an agreement with the Democrats is still a long way off.