The White House requests another $45.8 billion in emergency coronavirus funding

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AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with tourism industry executives about the coronavirus, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington.

  • The Trump administration has asked Congress to allocate tens of billions of additional funding to address the coronavirus epidemic.
  • COVID-19 has killed more than 100 in the US and sickened thousands more.
  • In a letter to lawmakers, White House Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought requested $45.8 billion to replenish response funding.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Trump administration has asked Congress to allocate tens of billions of additional funding to address the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed more than 100 in the US and sickened thousands more.

In a letter to lawmakers, White House Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought requested $45.8 billion to replenish and expand the budget for the federal response to the respiratory illness COVID-19. The emergency spending request is expected to be considered on Capitol Hill in the coming days.

"With the pandemic growing, resource needs have also grown," Vought wrote. "The unprecedented mobilization the administration has achieved has forced agencies to incur unanticipated costs. These costs must be met with a legislative response to ensure full operational capacity."

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A large portion of the emergency funding would be directed to the Veterans Department, which would receive upward of $16 billion. The rest would go toward the Health and Human Services Department, the Defense Department, and other agencies.

The request marks the latest escalation in federal efforts to combat COVID-19 and its effects on the economy. It is distinct from a sweeping stimulus package under consideration, which the Trump administration estimates will inject more than $1 trillion into the economy.

The Senate is also expected to pass this week a separate measure to expand paid sick leave and unemployment benefits for some workers affected by the epidemic. In early March, Trump signed into law an $8.3 billion package that provided funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies.

Contact this reporter at gheeb@businessinsider.com.

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