WASHINGTON — Progressive Democrats in the Senate are hoping to use a streamlined process that needs just 50 votes to approve a Covid-19 relief package that includes billions in new funding for vaccines and other supplies. But some experts are already casting doubt on that plan.
Some Democrats, including incoming Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), are pushing for President Biden to give up working with Republicans and pass his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan using a process that would allow Democrats to pass it on a party-line vote. But the maneuver comes with many restrictions, and the public health funding might not pass muster. Biden wants $20 billion for a national vaccination program; $30 billion for purchasing supplies and protective gear; and $50 billion for a scaled-up diagnostic testing program.