WASHINGTON – As Maryland and other states continue to struggle with the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination programs, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is praising his colleagues for unanimously supporting his budget amendment that would support state efforts to strengthen transparent and efficient vaccine administration and public awareness campaigns.
“Getting 100 senators to agree on anything is hard. Tonight, we all voted together to support state-run vaccine programs and outreach efforts because we understand that trust in the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety and efficacy is especially critical to overcome challenges in getting the vaccine to Americans. My budget amendment with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) passed 100-0 because we know that our states cannot do this alone; they need a strong federal partner.
“The Cardin-Portman amendment (Amdt 716) will translate into support for states as they work to implement more efficient vaccine administration programs to ensure that there is equitable distribution to all communities. The amendment also bolsters states vaccine awareness campaigns to promote evidence-based, scientific information, while dispelling any misinformation and disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Transparent communication with the public is paramount to wining public trust and increasing vaccinations in communities of color, who have disproportionately borne the burden of the pandemic.”
The text of the amendment follows.
S. Con. Res. 5
Setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2021 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2022 through 2030.
At the end of title III, add the following:
SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO COVID-19 VACCINE ADMINISTRATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN.
The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to strengthening and improving the process to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to states, which may include supporting states in implementing a transparent and consistent vaccine administration program, and bolstering States’ public awareness campaigns to increase awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines (particularly for vulnerable communities, including ethnic minority populations), by the amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2021 through 2025 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2021 through 2030.