March 18, 2020 / 12:44 PM / 19 days ago

Trump administration seeks $45.8 billion in extra government funding amid coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration has requested an additional $45.8 billion from Congress to shore up U.S. agencies amid the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday.

The supplemental funding request, sent to U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday night, would give billions more to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Defense Department.

The request is separate from the administration’s proposed $1 trillion stimulus package to address the outbreak’s economic fallout.

The request includes a proposal for $13.1 billion for the VA to fund treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and other related costs. The administration is requesting another $1.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over its prior proposal.

The proposal also includes $500 million for U.S. passenger railroad Amtrak, which has warned it will lose at least hundreds of millions of dollars this year and is seeking $1 billion in emergency assistance for it and state rail agencies.

Amtrak has halted 60% of its daily trains in the Northeast Corridor linking Boston and Washington.

The White House is also seeking $800 million to fund up to 13 migrant quarantine facilities along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and David Shepardson; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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