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U.S. House Approves $622M Zika Funding Bill Despite President Obama’s Veto Warning

Associated Press: House GOP presses ahead with Zika measure
“House Republicans on Wednesday pushed through a $622 million bill to battle the Zika virus, setting up challenging negotiations with the Senate and the White House. The 241-184 House vote broke mostly along party lines as Democrats lined up in opposition, heeding a White House veto threat and a warning from a top government health official that the bill wouldn’t do enough to respond to the growing threat from Zika…” (5/18).

The Hill: House approves $622M Zika funding bill
“…All but four Republicans who cast votes were in favor of the bill, which funds federal research, prevention and treatment efforts for the next six months. President Obama has warned he would veto the bill, which a White House spokesman recently blasted as ‘a dumb approach.’ The House’s bill is about half of the Senate’s funding package of $1.1 billion, which is intended to last through September 2017. The Senate advanced that bill on Tuesday…” (Ferris, 5/18).

The Hill: House GOP vows ‘hundreds of millions’ more for Zika response
“A leading Republican said Wednesday the House will ultimately approve just as much Zika virus funding — if not more — than the Senate, in an attempt to resolve the funding fight within the GOP. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who manages health spending on the House Appropriations Committee, said ‘there will be hundreds of millions’ of dollars for the Zika virus in the annual spending bill this year…” (Ferris, 5/18).

The Hill: House Dems object to abortion limits in Zika bill
“A group of Democrats is objecting to the House’s bill funding a response to the Zika virus in part because it continues restrictions on federal funding for abortions. … ‘By including Hyde language that denies access to abortions for women receiving Medicaid, women in the Peace Corps and military, federal workers and others, it continues discriminatory policies that deny women vital reproductive health care services based on their income, their insurance, and where they work,’ the lawmakers said in a statement. The Senate’s compromise Zika funding measure, which also includes Hyde restrictions, advanced on Tuesday without abortion-related objections…” (Sullivan, 5/18).

Reuters: House approves $622 million to combat Zika virus
“…House Republicans argue their bill, when coupled with $589 million the Obama administration already shifted to Zika from unused funds to battle Ebola, would provide enough money through Sept. 30, the end of this fiscal year. It was unclear how long it might take the Senate and House to work out their differences once they pass their respective bills…” (Beech/Cowan, 5/18).

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