The Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a $2T emergency funding package to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported.
Military Times reported the package would authorize $10.5B in emergency funds for the Department of Defense and another $19.6B for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The third COVID-19 response measure includes $1B to fund investments in manufacturing capabilities to boost the production of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies as part of the Defense Production Act, $1.4B for National Guard deployments to support state agencies’ health needs and $1.5B for the expansion of mobile medical centers and military hospitals.
VA will use approximately $15.9B in funds to address veterans’ health care needs and another $3.1B for telemedicine initiatives.
“This covers treatment of veterans nationwide for coronavirus within VA hospitals as well as in community urgent care clinics and emergency rooms,” according to a summary of the bill. “These funds allow VA to cover overtime for their clinical staff, the purchase of personal protective equipment, test kits, and other necessary equipment to manage the impacts of this pandemic among the veteran population.”
The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday, according to Politico.