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U.S. Congress Should Not Delay On Fulfilling President Obama’s Zika Funding Request

Bloomberg View: Congress Has No Good Reason to Delay Zika Funding
Editorial Board

“…The case for action [to respond to Zika] now is overwhelming. … Among the questions Republicans say remain unanswered is what portion of the money [the White House requested] is needed for the current fiscal year. That level of detail wasn’t necessary in 2005 when President George W. Bush requested and received emergency funding from Congress to combat avian flu. Nor was it necessary in 2014 when [President] Obama sought and received emergency funding to fight Ebola. Republicans also argue that the federal government has enough money left over from the fight against the Ebola virus to deal with Zika, since Ebola is no longer a public health emergency. But the administration … claims that taking more from that effort could leave Americans exposed to another outbreak … Finally, House Republicans say that any request for new money to combat Zika should come through the regular appropriations process, rather than through an emergency request. That approach would delay any new money until the end of the year — at the earliest. … Whatever the explanation for Republicans’ truculence … it’s a delay that could endanger lives. … Republicans need to move, and quick” (4/28).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.