By Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an $8.3 billion emergency new coronavirus spending plan on Wednesday that earned only two “no” votes, with one of them coming from Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona.
The bill, introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., passed 415-2. The measure now goes to the Senate.
The legislation includes $3 billion for research and development of vaccines and other diagnostic tools, $2.2 billion in funds for prevention and preparedness, among other items.
It is intended to help combat the virus that has killed at least 11 Americans so far.
Lowey said the bill includes “entirely new funding and strong transparency and accountability measures to fully address the virus and keep Americans safe from this growing public health emergency.”
It allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to small businesses affected by the virus. The bill also provides for reimbursing state and local governments for their costs while assisting federal authorities.