(breitbart) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Wednesday a “heartbreaking” move to strip $15 billion in coronavirus aid from the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill.
Pelosi released a letter to House Democrats on Wednesday saying she would remove funding that would “protect against potential new variants and help vaccinate the world.”
The House leader blamed Republicans for resisting this “deeply needed funding, demanding that every cent requested by the Administration be offset, including through state and local funds scheduled to be released this spring.”
“Because of Republican insistence — and the resistance by a number of our Members to making those offsets — we will go back to the Rules Committee to remove COVID funding to meet the needs of America’s families,” she continued.
“It is heartbreaking to remove the COVID funding, and we must continue to fight for urgently needed COVID assistance, but unfortunately that will not be included in this bill,” she added.
The Joe Biden White House had originally asked for $22.5 billion in coronavirus spending. However, Republicans wanted to have an accounting of how the previous $5 trillion in coronavirus aid has been spent.
A Republican Study Committee (RSC) document detailed the problems with the omnibus bill, which includes:
- No new funding for border wall construction, ICE agents, or funding to support Remain in Mexico. Instead, the bill would decrease CBP funding.
- The bill would spend over $100 billion on Green New Deal initiatives, and advance “racial justice” through Department of Agriculture programs.
- The bill also contains $100 million for environmental justice activities at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and $75 million for low or zero-emission vehicles
- $26 billion in food stamp funding
- This is the first spending bill to include earmarks.
- No protections from Chinese espionage in grants to the National Science Foundation
- Increases National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by 10 percent
- Provides $66 million for the “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), an increase of $8 million from last year
Congress has to pass the omnibus spending bill before Friday at midnight or the government will shut down. Pelosi’s decision to strip the coronavirus aid could delay the bill’s passage through the House.