Senate passes $8.3 billion spending bill for coronavirus

Measure heads president's desk, Trump indicates he'll sign

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Hand sanitizer was omnipresent in Senate when it passed coronavirus bill.
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Last Updated:
March 5, 2020 - 6:40pm

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The Senate on Thursday passed an emergency spending bill to help fight the country's coronavirus outbreak.

The roughly $8.3 billion bill now heads to President Trump's desk for signing. 

"I'm glad it passed, I just voted for it, it passed overwhelmingly with strong bipartisan support and I think Congress is committed to doing whatever is necessary to keep the American people safe and to stop the spread of this virus," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told Just the News.

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The administration initially asked Congress for $2.5 billion, but Trump has said that he will accept whatever measure approved on Capitol Hill. 

The bill, which the House passed Wednesday evening, allocates funds for vaccine research and for state and local governments to fight the outbreak.

There are now 176 reported coronavirus cases in the U.S., and the national death toll is at 11. Globally, those numbers are 95,000 and 3,200. 

The Senate shot down a proposed amendment by libertarian-minded Kentucky GOP. Sen Rand Paul to offset the cost of the bill by cutting funds to other government-spending projects.

Just the New's Nick Ballasy contributed to this story.