WATCH: White House is ‘hopeful’ Congress is close approving $10 billion COVID bill

Lawmakers moved to the brink Thursday of shaking hands on a scaled-back bipartisan compromise providing a fresh $10 billion to combat COVID-19, a deal that could set up final congressional approval next week.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

The price tag was down from an earlier $15.6 billion agreement between the two parties that collapsed weeks ago after House Democrats rejected cutting unused pandemic aid to states to help pay for it. President Joe Biden requested $22.5 billion in early March.

The effort, which would finance steps like vaccines, treatments and tests, comes as Biden and other Democrats have warned the government is running out of money to counter the pandemic. At the same time, the more transmissible omicron variant BA.2 has been spreading quickly in the U.S. and abroad.

READ MORE: Lawmakers near deal on trimmed $10 billion COVID bill

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney told reporters Congress and the White House have reached an agreement in principle.

But at the White House briefing Thursday, Communications Director Kate Bedingfield was more circumspect, saying only, “The president has been very clear. There is a strong sense of urgency here.”

“We’re very hopeful that Congress is going to come to a solution on this,” said Bedingfield.

Once clinched, an agreement would represent a semblance of bipartisan cooperation in battling the pandemic that dissolved a year ago, when a far larger, $1.9 trillion measure proposed by the new president cleared Congress with only Democratic votes.

That bill was laden with spending to help struggling families, businesses and communities, while this one would be aimed exclusively at public health.