HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ Senate Begins Voting on COVID-19 Relief Bill
Senate Begins Voting on COVID-19 Relief Bill

The Senate began voting March 5 on a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic relief bill through procedure known as a “vote-a-rama,” where dozens of amendments are debated and voted on. The bill, which has not secured any bipartisan support in the Senate and differs, could be passed on a party-line vote by this weekend. The Senate COVID-19 relief bill, which differs from the bill passed by the House on Feb. 27, includes funding to extend unemployment insurance benefits, economic stimulus payments and funds for school re-openings, COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and health coverage. The Senate COVID-19 package includes the following health-related provisions:
  • $14 billion for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
  • $49 billion for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and genomic sequencing
  • $8 billion to strengthen the public health workforce
  • $11 billion for additional public health support including expansion of community health centers
  • $10 billion for PPE and other medical supplies
  • $35 billion to increase Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance coverage subsidies
  • Increase in federal Medicaid funding for states that adopt the ACA Medicaid expansion
  • $17 billion for veteran’s health including expansion of telehealth, personal protective equipment and vaccine distribution
  • $3.5 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria’s COVID-19 response
Last Reviewed: March 2021