Biden’s $48 billion emergency funding request, a breakdown
Speaking Security Newsletter | Note n°180 | 16 November 2022
If you find these notes useful, you can support this newsletter and SPRI, here.
The White House submitted a $47.7 billion funding request on November 15. A breakdown:
Biden recently said, “The pandemic is over—we still have a problem with Covid-19.” This funding request reflects that incoherence. The amount for Covid is a steep drop from the $22.4 billion he proposed in September for the same purpose, the $22.5 billion he proposed in April, and his $22.5 billion request back in March. None of that funding was ever approved. So why is this latest version so much smaller? The Washington Post reported that White House aides attribute it to “the evolving nature of both the pandemic and the political climate on Capitol Hill.” I’m not sure either is a valid excuse.
Regarding the former, there’s still about 315 Americans dying each day from the virus (= a 9/11-level deaths every 10 days)—this year’s toll stands at more than 219,000—and over 27,000 are in hospital because of Covid on an average day. No one seems sure about the numbers for Long Covid.
For the latter, cutting down the Covid ask won’t assuage the political climate. The GOP will oppose pandemic funding no matter the amount, and the Democrats don’t have the political will to use its only source of leverage—keeping the funding tethered to Ukraine aid—for more than a few days. All the GOP has got to do is wait for Biden or Democratic leadership to delink the two, like they’ve done thrice before.
-Stephen (@stephensemler; email@example.com)
Find this note useful? Please consider becoming a supporter of SPRI. Unlike establishment think tanks, we rely exclusively on small donations.