U.S. Senate Approves $1.1B In Emergency Zika Spending; Negotiators Must Reconcile With House’s $622M Zika Funds

CQ HealthBeat: Senate Passes Spending Bill With Funds to Fight Zika
“The Senate on a 89-8 vote passed a fiscal 2017 two-bill spending measure that includes funding to fight the Zika virus. The measure (HR 2577) is made up of the Transportation-HUD (S 2844) and Military Construction-VA (S 2806) spending bills. Those are the second and third regular appropriations bills to gain floor passage this year…” (Mejdrich, 5/19).

Deutsche Welle: Congress, Obama wrangle over anti-Zika spending
“…Obama had in February asked for $1.9 billion (1.7 billion euros) to fight Zika’s spread via mosquitoes and sexual contact. Severe defects in newborns have already dominated headlines in South America, especially Brazil…” (5/19).

The Hill: Senate approves Zika funds
“…The vote comes less than a day after the House approved $622 million in Zika funds, despite opposition from House Democrats, senators, and the White House…” (Carney, 5/19).

The Hill: Overnight Healthcare: House, Senate struggle to bridge Zika divide
“… ‘Now that both houses have acted on their respective Zika packages, we will work expeditiously to reconcile them,’ Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), wrote to The Hill on Thursday…” (Sullivan, 5/19).

Reuters: U.S. Senate approves $1.1 billion to fight Zika virus
“…Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington State urged Congress to act quickly, saying, ‘This is a public health emergency and Congress should treat it like one’…” (Cowan, 5/19).

USA TODAY: Senate approves $1.1 billion to fight Zika virus
“…The Senate version is a bipartisan measure that would provide funding through September 2017. … The White House earlier this week threatened to veto the House version, calling it ‘woefully inadequate.’ The administration did not threaten the same fate for the Senate legislation…” (Slack, 5/19).