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Senate, House Making Progress On Zika Emergency Funding, According To Congress Members; NIH’s Fauci Says Money Needed Now For Containment Research

Bloomberg: Feeling Heat on Zika, Senate Republicans to Approve Funds
“…Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican who chairs the spending subcommittee that oversees health funding, said he wants to add $1.1 billion in emergency funding to a package of spending bills coming to the Senate floor this week. That figure falls short of the White House’s request for $1.9 billion to combat the virus, which is believed to cause serious birth defects. It could also trigger a fight with House Republicans, who are demanding offsetting spending cuts…” (Dennis/Wasson, 5/11).

CQ News: Zika Aid Might Be Added to Senate’s Two-Bill Spending Package
“Zika aid could find a place in the two-bill appropriations package heading to the floor after the chamber wraps up work on the Energy-Water spending bill, Republican and Democratic senators said Wednesday. But Democrats say there’s no final dollar amount determined yet…” (Mejdrich, 5/11).

CQ News: House Appropriations Chairman Sees Zika Funding Progress
“House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers is indicating some progress has been made on a spending package to combat the Zika virus, after months of negotiations have so far failed to resolve disputes over funding levels or offsets…” (McCrimmon, 5/11).

The Hill: GOP senator: Zika funding could move this week
“…The White House is still pushing for its full $1.9 billion request. … [P]ressure is rising as the weather warms and the virus transmission is expected to ramp up, and some Republicans, notably Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have backed the full White House funding request…” (Sullivan, 5/11).

Los Angeles Times: Zika’s coming, and there’s not enough money for another health emergency
“Less than two years after the Ebola epidemic set off a scramble for money to contain that deadly virus, state and local health officials around the country are rushing to prepare for Zika outbreaks this spring and summer. … Now, with the second threat of a major disease outbreak in three years, America’s public health agencies — and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are again begging for aid…” (Levey, 5/11).

Reuters: Senate negotiators zero in on Zika virus funding
” U.S. Senate negotiators on Wednesday tried to reach a deal to provide more than $1 billion to battle the Zika virus that is feared will creep north into the United States with the onset of warmer weather, which breeds mosquitoes that could carry the disease…” (Cowan, 5/12).

USA TODAY: Florida Gov. Rick Scott urges Congress to act quickly on Zika
“Florida Gov. Rick Scott, whose state is grappling with a rising number of Zika cases, on Wednesday urged fellow Republicans in Congress to move quickly on a plan to combat the fast-spreading disease…” (King, 5/11).

USA TODAY: Top NIH doctor Fauci: Stalled funds in Congress raise Zika threat
“The nation’s top expert on infectious diseases warns that a funding stalemate between the White House and Congress threatens to slow efforts to contain the Zika virus ‘to a dangerous level’ even as the risks of an outbreak along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere are rising…” (Page, 5/11).

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