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U.S. Senate Passes $1.1B Measure To Fund Zika Response

The Hill: Zika funding overcomes key Senate hurdle
“…Senators voted 68-29 to move forward with $1.1 billion in Zika funding, with 60 votes needed to overcome Tuesday’s procedural hurdle. The Obama administration’s original emergency spending request was for $1.9 billion to combat the mosquito-borne virus…” (Carney, 5/17).

Kaiser Health News: A Primer: How The Fight Against Zika Might Be Funded
“…[The Senate’s] plan will not likely be the last word on the subject. What is proposed so far, though, would be added to the $590 million the White House has allocated for Zika prevention. Most of those funds have been pulled from the budget to fight Ebola…” (Luthra, 5/17).

NBC News: Senate Approves Zika Funding Compromise — as White House Threatens Veto
“The Senate voted 68 to 29 in favor of a bipartisan measure worked out last week by Missouri Republican Roy Blunt and Washington Democrat Patty Murray that would allocate $1.1 billion of the $1.9 billion President Barack Obama has asked for…” (Fox, 5/17).

New York Times: Senate Votes to Advance Emergency Funding to Fight Zika Virus
“…The action in the Senate was a sign that even in a bitterly contentious election year, compromise is still possible, at least in that chamber. A proposal to grant the full White House request failed, as did a proposal that would have appropriated the money, but with offsetting spending cuts. The vote on the compromise plan was 68 to 29, with 22 Republicans joining Democrats in favor and no Democrats opposed…” (Herszenhorn, 5/17).

POLITICO: Senate OKs $1.1 billion to fight Zika; House wants half that
“…The Senate advanced the $1.1 billion in funding on a procedural vote and nixed two related measures — one to fully fund the administration’s $1.9 billion request and another smaller package that would have been paid for by cutting Obamacare…” (Haberkorn, 5/17).

STAT: Senate endorses $1.1b Zika funding. Next up, the House
“…The vote will build pressure on the House to pass its own Zika bill later this week. But the Senate bill is significantly smaller than the $1.9 billion the administration asked for, and it’s now the biggest offer on the table in Congress, given that the House version is even smaller. That means the administration and its allies in Congress will have to fight to get a final package that’s even as big as the Senate bill — let alone the full amount federal health officials say they need to prepare for the likely spread of the Zika virus this summer…” (Nather, 5/17).

USA TODAY: Senate advances compromise bill to provide $1.1 billion to combat Zika
“…Senators voted 68-29 to advance an amendment by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., to provide the emergency funding, which would be used for mosquito control, public education, and the development of a vaccine…” (Kelly, 5/18).

VOA News: Zika Funding Clears U.S. Senate
“…The Senate-approved Zika measure faces an uncertain fate in the House of Representatives, where majority-Republicans are considering a proposal to redirect $622 million previously appropriated to fight Ebola. Those funds would be merged with more than $500 million the Obama administration is already siphoning from Ebola programs…” (Bowman, 5/17).

Wall Street Journal: Senate Approves $1.1 Billion in Emergency Zika Funding
“…The measure from Sens. Blunt and Murray, the top lawmakers on a Senate Appropriations panel responsible for health funding, is considered emergency funding and isn’t paid for by cuts to the budget elsewhere…” (Peterson/Armour, 5/17).

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