GOP blocks $10B Senate COVID bill, demands vote on immigration policy

Republican Senators have blocked a $10 billion COVID-19 relief bill, which was agreed upon by Senate negotiators on April 5, over conflict regarding an immigration policy, reported Politico.

GOP Senators have demanded a vote on an amendment to keep Title 42 in place, which currently puts restrictions on immigration due to the pandemic. Title 42 was enacted by the CDC during the Trump administration to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the nation's land borders. It has been used to expel 1.7 million people at the border so far and has been criticized by public health experts, according to CNBC

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Politico "there's going to have to be an amendment on Title 42 in order to move the bill."

This is likely to cause an impasse on the COVID-19 funding bill, meaning it could be late April or even May before the aid is approved. The bill repurposed billions of unused dollars originally meant for other COVID-19 programs such as initiatives in the Small Business Administration. The funds will allow the U.S. to purchase more tests, vaccines and therapeutics.


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