Warren Bill Would Move Wall Money To Virus Battle

Via press release from the Warren campaign:

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, today unveiled legislation, the Prioritizing Pandemic Prevention Act, requiring all funds that have been appropriated to build a border wall-including funds directly appropriated by Congress and funds diverted by the executive branch from other accounts-to be immediately transferred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the purpose of combatting the novel coronavirus.

“The coronavirus outbreak poses serious health, diplomatic, and economic threats to the United States, and we must be prepared to confront it head-on,” said Senator Warren. “Rather than use taxpayer dollars to pay for a monument to hate and division, my bill will help ensure that the federal government has the resources it needs to adequately respond to this emergency.”

In the midst of this potential pandemic, President Trump has failed to direct significant financial resources to his coronavirus response. His Fiscal Year 2021 budget, released just weeks ago, proposed decimating the HHS budget, including CDC’s, and the President has requested that Congress reprogram funding dedicated to fighting Ebola to coronavirus.

While emergency supplemental appropriations are not typically offset, the Prioritizing Pandemic Prevention Act would provide a down payment of an estimated $10 billion in funding for coronavirus efforts by redirecting funds from border wall funding at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) counterdrug and military construction funding previously diverted for wall construction, including any unobligated balances of such funding from fiscal year 2019.