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  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Passes CR Through March 11


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations

    The Senate passed H.R. 6617, the Further Additional Extending Government Funding Act, on Feb. 17 to extend the existing continuing resolution (CR) through March 11. The Senate passage by a vote of 65-27 followed House passage on Feb. 8 [refer to Washington Highlights , Feb. 11]. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law on Feb. 18.

    Separately, on Feb. 15, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra outlined for lawmakers $30 billion in additional funding needs for the Department of Health and Human Services to address near-term COVID-19 challenges. The request reportedly included funding to procure more countermeasures; to anticipate future variants by researching additional COVID-19 vaccines and developing public health surveillance infrastructure; to support testing, care, and vaccinations for uninsured patients; and to strengthen the nation’s testing capacity.

    Senate Appropriations Chair Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) has indicated that he does not anticipate including emergency funding for COVID-19 as part of the omnibus for Fiscal Year 2022 regular appropriations, but that a supplemental spending bill could potentially advance as a separate package on its own. Some Republicans have expressed interest in better understanding how resources have been expended to date before providing additional emergency funding for COVID-19.