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Uncertainty Surrounds Zika Spending, Even As U.S. Senate, House Move To Approve Funding Measures

The Atlantic: The Still Uncertain Future of Zika Funding
“U.S. senators approved a compromise amendment Tuesday to finance anti-Zika efforts, one of a handful of funding proposals introduced in Congress in recent days. The House could vote on a bill of its own later this week. But despite these ostensible signs of progress, the future of Zika funding still looks uncertain…” (Kelly, 5/18).

Foreign Policy: Fight Against Zika Virus Headed Toward Political Deadlock
“…Everyone agrees that Zika, which has been linked both to microcephaly in newborns and Guillain-Barré, a condition that causes paralysis in adults, is a looming problem. … However, there is political disagreement on how to confront the Zika threat…” (Francis, 5/17).

The Hill: Clash in GOP over Zika funding
“The House and Senate are on a collision course over funding to deal with the Zika virus. Republicans in both chambers are moving forward with legislation after months of Democratic pressure, but their proposals differ sharply. … ‘There’s a big gulf between where the Senate is and where the House is on this,’ said conservative Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.). ‘I think it becomes much more problematic for some of us to vote for a conference report that goes in the Senate direction rather than the House direction,’ Sanford added, referring to a possible measure that would be worked out between the two chambers…” (Sullivan, 5/18).

STAT: Saying Zika is no Ebola, House Republicans feel little urgency to act
“Zika is not Ebola. And that’s a big reason the House has so far stalled on the Obama administration’s request for $1.9 billion in funding for an emergency response to the Zika virus. Key Republicans say they’re just not hearing a lot of urgency from their constituents…” (Nather, 5/17).

Washington Post: Congress struggles to strike deal on Zika funds as concern about the virus grows
“…Although Republicans in both chambers are worried about the coming public health crisis and say they want to move the funding quickly, House GOP leaders are sticking with their long-held stance that the cost of emergency funding for health and weather disasters should be offset. They are being pressured by influential conservative groups, such as Heritage Action, to maintain this stance, especially after Senate leaders struck a deal with Democrats after determining that it isn’t worth being blamed for delaying Zika funds over a budget fight…” (Achenbach/Snell, 5/17).

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