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U.S. House, Senate Continue Zika Funding Negotiations; House Passes Measure Easing State, Local Pesticide Use For Mosquito Control

CNN: House passes narrow Zika measure designed to remove red tape
“The House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that makes it easier for state and local governments to spray pesticides to kill mosquitoes and stop the spread of the Zika virus…” (Walsh, 5/24).

CQ News: Difficult Negotiations Begin Over Competing Zika Response Bills
“Negotiations over a Zika response bill continued on Tuesday, but House and Senate lawmakers are still divided over the fundamental components of dueling spending bills passed by the two chambers…” (McCrimmon/Shutt, 5/24).

The Hill: House Dems lining up against Senate Zika bill
“The head of the House Democratic Caucus warned Tuesday that he’ll oppose anything less than the full funding President Obama has requested to combat the Zika virus. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said both the House’s $622 million bill and the Senate’s $1.1 billion proposal are insufficient to address the escalating crisis…” (Lillis, 5/24).

The Hill: House votes to loosen EPA pesticide rules to fight Zika
“The House voted along party lines Tuesday to approve a bill that would loosen pesticide regulations in the name of fighting the Zika virus. Democrats almost unanimously opposed the bill, which was recently retooled by House GOP leaders as an effort to prevent the spread of Zika…” (Ferris, 5/24).

NBC News: Doctors Say Zika Funding From Congress Critical as Some Republicans Remain Suspicious
“Federal health agencies are not trying to sneak extra money out of Congress as part of their Zika funding request, a top health official said Tuesday, as some lawmakers remain wary of where it’s all going. The money’s really needed to help fight a frightening and mystifying virus — one that affects the most vulnerable of all, said Dr. Tony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases…” (Fox, 5/24).

New York Times: Political Battles Color Congressional Feud Over Zika Funding
“The feud on Capitol Hill over responding to the rapidly spreading Zika virus would seem to be largely a fight over how much money is needed to fight the mosquito-borne scourge. But lurking just beneath the surface are issues that have long stirred partisan mistrust, including Republicans’ fears about the use of taxpayer money for abortion and possible increased use of contraception, and Democratic worries about protecting the environment from potentially dangerous pesticides…” (Herszenhorn, 5/24).

PBS NewsHour: What’s behind biting political fight in Congress over Zika funding?
“…Back in February, the White House put together a $1.9 billion proposal aimed at mosquito control, education about Zika, plus boosting research into the virus and a possible vaccine. Last week, the Republican-controlled Senate moved a compromise measure for less than two-thirds that amount over the next year, $1.1 billion. But the also-GOP-controlled House signed off on a bill for $622 million over six months. Joining me now from opposite sides of this funding divide are Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, and Representative Bob Gibbs, Republican from Ohio…” (Woodruff, 5/24).

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