Senate Leaves For Week-Long Recess Without Zika Funding Compromise; Obama Administration Officials Warn Lack Of Funding Could Limit Research, Prevention Efforts

The Atlantic: The Senate Goes Home Without Funding Zika
“The U.S. Congress doesn’t look any closer to funding anti-Zika efforts now than it did last week. If anything, lawmakers appear to have taken steps back. After hours of speeches on Zika from the Senate floor on Thursday, lawmakers adjourned for a week-long recess still fundamentally divided on how best to combat the virus…” (Kelly, 4/29).

CQ News: Senate Republicans Block Zika Package, but Say Talks Continue
“Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a Democratic attempt to take up a $1.9 billion funding package to address the Zika virus, maintaining that appropriators’ work on a compromise measure was continuing behind the scenes…” (McCrimmon, 4/28).

CQ HealthBeat: Zika Vaccine, Mosquito Control May Be Hampered by Limited Funds
“Obama administration officials on Thursday said there may not be enough funds to move on aspects of the Zika response such as vaccine development and robust mosquito control, even after the White House shifted $589 million in budgeted money to address the spread of the mosquito-borne virus…” (Young, 4/28).

The Hill: Senate GOP hardening stance against emergency funding for Zika
“Senate Republican leaders are hardening their stance against emergency funding for the Zika virus, just one week after prominent GOP lawmakers signaled a funding package was on its way. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) dismissed President Obama’s $1.9 billion funding request as a ‘blank check’ that would allow him to divert funds to agencies outside of the Zika virus efforts, such as the Environmental Protection Agency…” (Ferris, 4/28).

Huffington Post: It’s Time To Freak Out Over Zika, Marco Rubio Warns GOP
“Republican leaders in Congress may be taking a slow, deliberate approach to dealing with the looming threat of the Zika virus, but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned his colleagues Thursday that it’s about time for them to freak out about the mosquito-borne disease…” (McAuliff, 4/28).

The Lancet: U.S. responds to increase in Zika cases
“…In early February, President Barack Obama requested more than US$1.8 billion in emergency funding to enable the NIH, CDC, and other agencies to respond to the virus. Since that request, Zika cases in the USA and its territories have risen nearly 15-fold in about 10 weeks…” (Jaffe, 4/30).

Washington Post: Why Republicans are opposing President Obama’s request for Zika funding
“…Last week, there appeared to be a deal in the works among Senate appropriators in which a smaller sum, about $1 billion, would be provided in emergency Zika funding as an amendment to one of the 2017 spending bills now moving through the regular process. But that deal is now on ice, partly due to an unrelated blowup over the Iran nuclear deal and, it appears, internal GOP politics…” (DeBonis, 4/28).

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