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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Says Zika Funding Bill Will Be Considered Again; Minority Leader Vows To Block

CQ News: Reid: Obama Would Back $1.1 Billion in Emergency Zika Spending
“Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that President Barack Obama would support $1.1 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus, but declined to say when the administration communicated this to him. ‘I’m willing, the president’s willing, Patty Murray’s willing to take $1.1 billion dollars, the one that passed here,’ Reid said following weekly caucus lunches. The Nevada Democrat was referring to the compromise package reached between Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., that was added as an amendment on a 68-30 vote to the hybrid Transportation-HUD and Military Construction-VA measure package (HR 2577) in May…” (McCrimmon/Mejdrich, 7/6).

The Hill: Reid warns Dems will block Zika funding again
“Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday warned that Democrats will once again block Zika virus funding in an upcoming redo vote, signaling that lawmakers have made little progress on finding a compromise. ‘Republicans are no closer to getting serious about Zika. … This bad legislation will never pass and will never get a presidential signature,’ the Senate Democratic leader said from the Senate floor…” (Carney, 7/6).

POLITICO: HHS spending Zika money slowly, amid big funding battle
“The Obama administration has so far distributed only about one-sixth of the unspent Ebola funding that it diverted to combat the Zika virus, according to administration officials. The White House in April [reprogrammed] $589 million to the Zika virus amid congressional squabbling over approving new emergency funding. Since then, the administration has distributed $112 million, according to HHS figures shared with POLITICO…” (Haberkorn/Everett, 7/6).

Reuters: U.S. Senate leader says will try again to pass Zika bill
“The U.S. Senate will make another attempt to pass a bill dealing with the Zika virus during the current session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday. ‘As I’ve said before, the Senate will revisit this important issue over the current work period,’ McConnell said on the Senate floor. ‘We’ll give Democrats another opportunity to end their filibuster of funding that’s critical to controlling Zika and supporting our veterans’…” (Walsh, 7/6).

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