HomeWashington Letter2020 ▶ Senate Struggles to Move COVID Relief Package
Senate Struggles to Move COVID Relief Package

This week, Senate Republican leadership released their long-awaited COVID-19 relief package, but failed to begin moving it to floor votes. The bill includes $15.5 billion in funding for the NIH, including $10 billion in relief for research halted due to the pandemic and $290 million for NHLBI’s COVID-19 related research across heart, lung, blood and sleep.

The current version of the Senate’s COVID relief bill includes:

  • $15.5 billion for the NIH, including:
    • $10 billion to offset reductions in research laboratory productivity
    • $240 million for research training supplements
    • $290 million for NHLBI
    • $481 million for NIAID
    • $173 million for NICHD
    • $64 million for the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities
  • $3.4 billion in funding for CDC
  • $16 billion for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and mitigation
  • $25 billion for health care provider and hospital relief

In its current form the bill is facing some opposition from both Republicans and Democrats over unemployment benefits, liability protection for employers and a lack of any aid for state and local governments. The House of Representatives passed a differing COVID-19 relief version in late June. The political stakes are high because both parties recognize that this may be the last major piece of coronavirus relief legislation to pass Congress before the elections.


Last Reviewed: July 2020