That’s what Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said many months ago. And, in 2019, President Biden said we need a “principled and strong” Republican party. Meanwhile, here on Planet Earth, not some imaginary realm, this is happening (boldface mine):
Next week, the White House says it will start to wind down a COVID-19 program that pays to test, treat and vaccinate people who don’t have health insurance.
It’s one of several immediate impacts after Congress declined to add $22.5 billion in funding to a broad government spending bill passed last week. President Biden signed the bill into law on Tuesday, hailing it as a bipartisan achievement without mentioning the lack of COVID-19 funding.
The COVID-19 funding request met with political pushback from Republicans and concern among some lawmakers that the White House has not fully explained how trillions in COVID money has been spent so far and what funding remains. Republicans in particular have been unwilling to agree to new spending.
…Democrats say they will try to pass a standalone COVID-19 funding bill in the coming days, but Republicans broadly oppose the plan, meaning there is little chance the measure can overcome a GOP filibuster in the Senate.
The White House said it will have to cut back shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments to states by 30% next week because of the funding snafu, and said the nation’s supply of those treatments could run out as soon as May.
The Biden administration is canceling plans to buy more of the treatment next week because of the lack of funding. The government also cannot buy more oral antiviral treatments like Paxlovid beyond the 20 million treatments already secured, and needs to scale back planned purchases of preventive treatments for immunocompromised people, the White House said.
And while officials say they do have enough vaccine doses available for immunocompromised people to get a fourth dose, if the rest of the population ends up needing an additional dose, they may not have the funds needed to meet the nation’s needs. The gap in funding would be particularly severe if a vaccine-evading variant comes along and a new formulation is needed.
The White House also said it will not be able to provide help to domestic manufacturers of at-home coronavirus tests beyond June, which it said will lead to diminished testing capacity.
Research into next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will be curbed, and some surveillance for new variants will also be stopped, the White House said. The administration also will need to limit its push to help poorer countries vaccinate people.
We do not need a strong Republican Party. It needs to be fired into the sun. We do need a new crop of Democrats who recognize the crisis (or crises) we’re facing and are willing and able to do something about them, not a geriatric party stuck dreaming of halcyon days of yore (that never really existed anyway).