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Covid News: Senators Near Agreement to Slim Emergency Aid Package

Senate Democrats and Republicans neared agreement to slash an emergency coronavirus response package to $10 billion from $15.6 billion, as they worked to break a logjam over a stalled package of federal money urgently requested by President Biden for vaccines, therapeutics and preparation against future variants.

The package now under consideration would be less than half the White House’s original $22.5 billion request.

At a news conference, the White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said the president had been clear about the urgent need for aid, adding that “we’re very hopeful that Congress is going to come to a solution.”

Other potential funding sources, multiple senators said, included transportation money, agricultural programs and some money for live venues, like theaters, that had to close during the pandemic.

Leaders in both parties signaled optimism that a final agreement could be reached, but it also remained unclear whether House progressives would agree to a deal that was a fraction of what Mr. Biden had initially said was necessary and lacked the global vaccination funds.

See the full story from The New York Times here.