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U.S. Senate Republicans Block Democrats’ Stand-Alone Zika Spending Bill Proposals; Sen. Shaheen Urges WHO To Rethink Advice On Rio Olympics

CQ News: Zika Aid Prompts New Senate Spat Over Spending Levels
“The debate over Zika funding reached a fever pitch on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon, as lawmakers sparred over competing standalone proposals to provide extra appropriations to combat the spread of the mosquito-borne virus. … The Senate drama demonstrated Democrats are concerned Zika aid won’t get to the president’s desk quickly enough unless it’s pulled out of a larger appropriations package…” (Mejdrich, 5/18).

Foreign Policy: Senator to WHO: Take Another Look at Whether The Olympics Is Such a Great Idea
“The 2016 Olympics in Brazil: a month-long sporting jaunt that brings a conflict-ridden world together? Or a Zika-spreading international mistake? U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) would like to prevent the games from becoming the latter. She sent a letter Tuesday night to Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization, calling for a ‘comprehensive evaluation’ of the public health risks presented by the games…” (Alpert, 5/18).

The Hill: Senate Republicans block stand-alone Zika bills
“Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic push to pass stand-alone legislation funding the federal response to the Zika virus. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) first blocked a request from Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to pass a stand-alone bill to provide $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus…” (Carney, 5/18).