Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) pushed back against additional COVID-19 relief funding unless additional spending is set aside to help the COVID issue at the border.
Blunt called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “politically tone-deaf” for announcing that it would end the Trump-era Title 42 policy and said the GOP would not “deal with the COVID issue on spending unless we have a chance to talk about the COVID issue at the border.”
“It’s hard to know the fair number without knowing what happens in COVID, but I think $10 billion is a minimal number to see how far that gets us,” Blunt advised. “That’s what the administration is asking for domestically. I’d like to do it. I think we were really close to being able to get that done, and then CDC announced the change in their view of the impact of COVID. And frankly, that’s all some of our members needed to decide — well, we’re not going to deal with the COVID issue on spending unless we have a chance to talk about the COVID issue at the border.”
He continued, “So, if anybody ever wondered if CDC was politically motivated, this would suggest they’re politically tone-deaf to put that statement out at the same time we’re trying to increase by several billion dollars, the COVID spending numbers, and they haven’t spent the money. They’ve spent it in the categories. Another part of that problem is there’s a lot of money in the so-called COVID recovery bill that hasn’t been spent, and only about 6% of that $1.9 trillion had anything to do with actual COVID treatment. The rest of it was to drive an economic recovery in an economy that was already obviously well on the way to recovery.”
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