Obama Administration Will Veto Zika Spending Package If Senate Approves Bill

CQ HealthBeat: Friday: Senate Trouble for Zika Response Funding Package
“…Senators face a decision next week on the fate of a supplemental spending package to fund efforts to battle the Zika virus. Senate rules allow the conference report to jump onto the Senate agenda and avoid amendment haggling. However, the measure faces a procedural vote — requiring 60 votes — to proceed toward a final vote. The measure also faces a White House veto threat…” (Jenks, 6/24).

CQ News: Zika Spending Bill Faces Likely Senate Rejection, Certain Veto
“The Zika response package and fiscal 2017 Military Construction-VA appropriations bill passed by the House early Thursday appears to lack the votes to make it through the Senate amid strong Democratic opposition. Even if the Republican-crafted product somehow reaches the 60 votes needed to avoid procedural hurdles in the Senate, it faces rejection from the Obama administration…” (McCrimmon et al., 6/23).

CQ News: Contraception Restrictions in Zika Deal Rile Democrats
“…The package would funnel [$95 million] through the Social Services Block Grant program, directing the funds to cover services provided by public health departments, hospitals, and Medicaid managed care clinics, but not family planning clinics that focus on contraception. Critics in Congress and health groups such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America say the limits are inappropriate and dangerous, since health officials have confirmed that Zika, typically spread by mosquitoes, can also be sexually transmitted and can cause birth and developmental defects…” (Mershon, 6/23).

The Hill: Senate sets up Zika vote
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is turning the Senate toward a fight over funding to combat the Zika virus. McConnell on Thursday filed cloture on the House-Senate deal on a military and veterans funding bill, which includes the Zika money. The move sets up a procedural vote for next week…” (Carney, 6/23).

The Hill: White House threatens veto of GOP’s Zika bill
“The White House on Thursday officially rejected a $1.1 billion Zika funding package from Republicans that would have forced the administration to pull most of the money from existing health care programs…” (Ferris, 6/23).

Vox: House Republicans used the sit-in to vote on a Zika bill that targeted Planned Parenthood
“…Zika causes severe birth defects, and it can be sexually transmitted. Helping women prevent pregnancy is an important part of Zika prevention efforts. Yet part of the Republicans’ bill effectively excludes Planned Parenthood from distributing birth control under a $95 million grant program…” (Crockett, 6/23).

Wall Street Journal: Gridlock Over Funding Threatens to Stall Obama Plan to Fight Zika Virus
“…President Barack Obama indicated he would veto the Republican-backed Zika measure if it reached his desk, White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said Thursday. He called the $1.1 billion deal ‘totally inadequate,’ saying that Republican lawmakers had turned a public health issue into a partisan political exercise…” (Armour/Nelson, 6/23).

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