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Romney: Lawmakers are close on a bipartisan deal for a trimmed $10B COVID bill

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The Florida Channel
Sen. Mitt Romney, the lead Republican negotiator, said bargainers had reach an agreement in principle on a package but said it was still being drafted. Other senators were less definitive but none contested that a deal was near.

The effort, which would finance steps like vaccines, treatments and tests, comes as the president and other Democrats have warned the government is running out of money to counter the pandemic.

Lawmakers have moved to the brink of clinching a scaled-back bipartisan compromise to provide a fresh $10 billion to combat COVID-19. That could set up final congressional approval next week.

The price tag was a reduction from an earlier $15.6 billion compromise that fell apart weeks ago after House Democrats rejected cuts in pandemic aid to states to help pay for it.

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is a lead negotiator and he says bargainers have reached an agreement in principle on a package that would be completely paid for.

The new money would be to purchase vaccines, treatments and tests, which the administration says are running low, even as the more transmissible omicron variant BA.2 spreads.

Click here to read more of this story from the Associated Press.