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WASHINGTON — How much money does the federal government still have set aside for the Covid-19 response? It depends who you ask.

A government watchdog published a report last month showing that the Department of Health and Human Services had a remaining $20.6 billion from laws funding various Covid-19 response activities at the end of January. That total is tantalizing to members of the House Freedom Caucus, who have said that clawing back unspent Covid-19 response funds is a condition of their support for a deal to raise the country’s debt ceiling.


But the White House has been sending information to Congress saying there’s only $4.5 billion left that’s not already devoted to a specific project.

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