56-Member Problem Solvers Caucus Latest to Join Golden’s Call for Immediate Action on Vaccine Distribution
WASHINGTON — Following Congressman Jared Golden’s (ME-02) push for an immediate vote on funding to ramp up vaccine distribution, the 56-member House Problem Solvers Caucus today endorsed a similar proposal. The call from the Problem Solvers Caucus, of which Golden is a member, comes after the Blue Dog Coalition wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer yesterday in favor of the approach.
Rep. Golden was one of the first members of Congress to call for passage of vaccine funding before beginning the weeks- or months- long budget reconciliation process party leaders have chosen to pass a larger COVID-19 relief proposal. He remains one of only two Democratic members of Congress to have put action behind his words on this issue, voting against the procedural motion to begin budget reconciliation because congressional leaders refused to put vaccine funding legislation up for a vote.
“I’m glad to see growing support for Congress to immediately pass urgently needed vaccine distribution funding immediately,” said Golden of the Problem Solvers’ proposal. “We can quickly pass a bipartisan funding bill to get more shots in arms now by setting up community vaccination centers and mobile vaccination units, deploying thousands of public health workers, and giving states more resources to distribute vaccines. With a clear path to a fast, effective, and bipartisan solution to ramp up vaccinations in this country, there is simply no excuse for leadership to delay.”
While Golden called for legislation to provide $20 billion for vaccine distribution, the Problem Solvers’ proposal goes further, with $160 billion for vaccines, testing, PPE, and other public health measures. Importantly, both numbers are common to both the Biden COVID-19 relief plan and the GOP Senate proposal released earlier this week. Since the Problem Solvers’ proposal also presents a realistic pathway for immediate passage of vaccine distribution funding, Golden is supportive of the Problem Solvers’ proposal as well.
The Problem Solvers Caucus’ $160 Billion “Defeating COVID-19” Vaccine Distribution Package includes:
- National Vaccine Program in partnership with states, tribes, and territories: $20B
- Massive expansion of testing: $50B
- Disaster Relief Fund: $30B
- Defense Production Act Title III: $5B
- PPE for first responders, independent physicians offices, and dentists: $5B
- Rebuilding and restocking the National Strategic Stockpile: $15B
- Provider Relief Fund with 20% set aside for rural hospitals: $35B