Calls Increase For Congress To Reconvene During Recess To Pass Zika Funding Legislation

Forbes: Obama Tries to Budge Congressional Republican Resistance Against Zika Funding
“At President Obama’s press conference on August 4, he tried to awaken Congress about its failure to pass a $1.1 billion funding bill to deal with the looming Zika pestilence…” (Tiefer, 8/4).

The Hill: HHS warns: Zika vaccine funding running dry
“The Obama administration is warning that the world’s first Zika virus vaccine will likely be stalled if Congress doesn’t approve new funding before the end of the summer recess. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to exhaust its $47 million in Zika vaccine funding by the end of August, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell warned in a letter to Capitol Hill this week…” (Ferris, 8/4).

Huffington Post: Obama Tells Congress To ‘Do Its Job’ On Zika
“Saying the Zika threat is ‘getting critical,’ President Barack Obama called on Congress Thursday to go back to work and pass the funding he has sought since February to combat the disease now spreading in Florida. Lawmakers failed to pass any funding to deal with the mosquito-borne disease before they went on their seven-week break last month. Since then, at least 15 Americans have gotten infected in the Miami area…” (McAuliff, 8/4).

POLITICO: Senate Dems make new call to cancel recess and pass Zika bill
“The ‘Bring Congress Back’ calls from Democrats are in full swing. More than 40 Senate Democrats sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday, pushing the two top Republicans to reconvene Congress so lawmakers can pass funding to deal with the Zika virus…” (Kim, 8/4).

Reuters: Obama, Senate Democrats urge Zika funding vote as reserves run low
“… ‘Our experts at the CDC, the folks on the front lines have been doing their best in making due by moving funds from other areas, but now the money we need to fight Zika is rapidly running out,’ Obama said at a press conference at the Pentagon. He warned that development of a vaccine for the virus could be delayed if Congress does not provide any more money and urged Americans to contact lawmakers to pressure them to take up the issue…” (Morgan/Rascoe, 8/4).

Roll Call: Blame Game Over Congressional Zika Response Heats Up
“Republicans and Democrats on Thursday continued bashing each other for a lack of congressional action to combat the Zika virus. Both sides failed to reach an agreement on a spending package before leaving town in July for a seven-week recess. In a letter to Republican leaders, Senate Democrats again suggested cutting their recess short to return to the Capitol to pass new funding for Zika. Also Thursday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wrote an op-ed column for USA Today defending the House-adopted conference report on Zika spending that was blocked by Senate Democrats in July over their objections to offsets and policy language dealing with contraception, environmental protections, and more…” (McCrimmon, 8/4).

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