WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a $2 trillion emergency relief package to inject cash into the U.S. economy that includes $10.5 billion for the Defense Department — $2.4 billion of which is to help blunt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on DoD suppliers.
The Senate late Wednesday passed 96-0 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A House voice vote is expected on Friday.
According to a summary of the bill released March 25 by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the $10.5 billion allocated for DoD includes:
- $1.45 billion to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on production lines, supply chain, military depots, and labs.
- $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to increase access to materials necessary for national security and pandemic recovery.
- $1.8 billion for military health care costs and to procure additional medical equipment; a
- $1.6 billion for the expansion of military treatment facilities
- $415 million for the development of vaccines, anti-virals, lab operations and the procurement of diagnostic tests.
- $627.8 million for the procurement of pharmaceuticals and physical protection equipment.
- $1.5 billion for emergency deployments of the National Guard.
- $713.6 million for medical supplies and physical protection equipment on installations and ships.
- $300 million to procure IT equipment and increase bandwidth
- $1.1 billion to cover shortfalls in defense private sector care
- $20 million for the office of the Inspector General for additional personnel to conduct audits and evaluations of COVID-19 emergency funding
The bill allows the president to extend the service of senior military officials whose appointments are scheduled to expire during COVID-19 crisis to ensure continuity of senior military leadership.