U.S. House Republicans Approve $1.1B Zika Spending Compromise Reached Without Democrats’ Input

The Atlantic: Congressional Lawmakers Reach a Zika Deal — Without Democrats
“After less than a week of formal, bipartisan negotiations on Zika funding, congressional lawmakers have reached a deal. The Democrats, though, aren’t involved. We ‘are not a party to any agreement,’ Matthew Dennis, the communications director for Democratic House appropriators, said Wednesday night in reaction to the deal’s emergence. ‘This is an agreement between House [Republicans] and Senate [Republicans]’…” (Kelly, 6/22).

The Hill: House GOP pushes $1.1 billion Zika bill through Dem sit-in
“House Republicans on Thursday approved a spending bill that includes a controversial $1.1 billion plan for the Zika virus in a late-night vote over Democrat protests. The vote, which was 239-171, came in the 15th hour of a dramatic sit-in protest by dozens of Democrats demanding votes on gun control bills…” (Ferris, 6/23).

The Hill: Dems threaten to oppose GOP funding deal on Zika
“…The deal provides about $400 million in new funding while moving around $750 million to the nation’s fight against the virus. … The bill released Wednesday … would use $543 million from an existing Obamacare program as well as $107 million from an Ebola virus fund and $100 million in other ‘unused administrative funding’ within the health department…” (Ferris, 6/22).

International Business Times: Zika In America: Senate To Vote Thursday On $1.1 Billion Deal To Combat Deadly Virus Despite Democrats’ Protest
“…House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly described the deal as a responsible plan and added, ‘Now we need to get this bill to the president’s desk’…” (Pascaline, 6/23).

New York Times: Zika Deal in Congress Likely to Be Delayed Until After Recess
“…[A]s the Republican negotiators announced Wednesday evening that they had reached a tentative agreement — which the House approved early Thursday in a 239-171 vote — Democrats lashed out. They said the proposal was layered with numerous unrelated provisions that they would never accept, including an effort to restrict government financing of Planned Parenthood, the women’s health organization. While Democrats did not have any sway over the House-Senate negotiations, Republicans do not have sufficient votes in the Senate to overcome procedural obstacles and approve the agreement on their own…” (Herszenhorn, 6/23).

Reuters: White House slams Zika funding bill as inadequate
“The White House on Thursday panned new Republican legislation to put $1.1 billion toward fighting the Zika virus, a plan that was much less than the $1.9 billion requested by President Barack Obama…” (Rampton, 6/22).

Roll Call: Obama Sits Out Zika Deliberations on Hill
“The White House on Wednesday wouldn’t rule out a veto of any plan to address the Zika virus outbreak that allocates less than the $1.9 billion in emergency funds that the administration requested in February…” (Bennett, 6/22).

USA TODAY: House approves $1.1 billion deal to combat Zika virus
“…House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., pushed to get the Zika bill passed this week, before House members adjourned for a recess that will last through Independence Day. The House had been scheduled to work through Friday, but the Democrats’ sit-in prompted them to adjourn early Thursday after voting on the Zika bill…” (Kelly, 6/23).

Washington Post: Bipartisan talks on Zika virus break down ahead of July 4 recess
“…[L]awmakers are once again headed home without a tool aimed at fighting the Zika virus at the height of mosquito season. … [Republicans] could face some blowback while at home with their constituents for failing to craft a measure that can pass both the House and Senate before leaving town…” (Snell, 6/23).

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