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U.S. House Republicans Introduce $622M Zika Funding Measure; House, Senate Expected To Vote This Week On Competing Bills

Associated Press: House GOP unveils $622M measure to combat Zika virus
“House Republicans have unveiled a $622 million measure to battle the Zika virus, offering President Barack Obama just one-third of the money he requested almost three months ago…” (5/16).

CNN: House and Senate at odds on Zika funding plans
“The Republican-controlled House and Senate are on a collision course about how to deal with the spread of the Zika [virus], pushing separate proposals for federal funding to combat the virus, and complicating efforts to deliver emergency money quickly to agencies hoping to develop a vaccine and head off new cases…” (Walsh/Barrett, 5/17).

CQ News: House GOP Unveils Zika Response; Democrats Say It’s Not Enough
“House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers unveiled House Republicans’ $622.1 million, fully offset anti-Zika spending bill on Monday, and was immediately rebuked by Democrats for not allocating the full amount requested by the Obama administration…” (Shutt/Mejdrich, 5/16).

CQ News: Zika Aid Fight Arrives on House and Senate Floors This Week
“Both the House and Senate dive into work this week on a supplemental appropriation to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus that is known to cause serious birth defects. At least four proposals are teed up for floor votes in the two chambers. The differences among the approaches reflect considerable division between — and within — the Republican and Democratic parties as to how Congress should be spending money on what’s deemed by many to be a public health emergency due to worsen as the summer months arrive…” (Mejdrich, 5/16).

The Hill: House GOP unveils $622 million Zika bill
“…The [$622 million] measure is fully paid for, in part by shifting over unspent money that was intended to fight Ebola, the House Appropriations Committee said. The House is likely to vote on the bill, which would provide a fraction of the $1.9 billion requested by the White House, this week…” (Sullivan, 5/16).

The Hill: Reid: GOP ‘beyond reckless’ on Zika virus funding
“Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday ripped Republicans over funding to fight the Zika virus, arguing lawmakers should move a stand-alone bill to match President Obama’s $1.9 billion request. ‘Senate Republicans are giving half of what they need to fight this ravaging virus. This is beyond reckless,’ Reid said on the Senate floor. ‘Republicans are trying to haggle as if this is some sort of bidding war’…” (Carney, 5/16).

Huffington Post: House Zika Bill Is $1.3 Billion Short Of Obama’s Request
“…The administration had already transferred nearly $600 million from the Ebola effort and other programs to fund its response. [Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)] said the committee will consider additional funding not as an emergency, but in the regular appropriations process for 2017, which is underway now…” (McAuliff, 5/16).

Reuters: U.S. House to weigh $622.1 million in new Zika funding
“…The bill would offset the new spending by taking $352.1 million from an Ebola fund and another $270 million from a Department of Health and Human Services administrative account…” (Cowan/Gardner, 5/16).

STAT: House Zika bill would provide less than half of White House request
“…White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters the new bill provides ‘only about a third of what our health professionals say is necessary to protect the American people.’ The administration wants $1.9 billion in Zika funds. The Senate is set to vote on Tuesday on a bipartisan compromise that would fund the effort at $1.1 million…” (Nather, 5/16).

United Press International: House Republicans raise bill to spend $622M in unused federal money for Zika fight
“…The money would be available to federal agencies over the final five months of fiscal year 2016. The bill’s language makes it clear that the money would be given out with substantial oversight and ‘tight controls’…” (Ware, 5/16).

USA TODAY: Congress to vote on Zika funding; bills fall far short of Obama’s request
“After more than three months of fighting between the White House and Congress over emergency funding to combat the Zika virus, the Senate appears poised Tuesday to approve $1.1 billion for prevention and treatment programs to combat the mosquito-borne illness…” (Kelly, 5/17).

VOA News: U.S. Weighs More Zika Funding
“…Even if these measures clear the two chambers, the outlines for a final accord are not clear. To date, there have been more than 500 cases of Zika contamination in the United States, all of which so far have been associated with overseas travel. Last week, Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean Sea, reported its first case of Zika-borne microcephaly” (Bredemeier, 5/16).

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