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White House, Democratic Senators Urge Emergency Zika Funding Approval; Other USG Agencies Take Steps To Assist In Virus Response

CQ News: Senate Democrats Launch a New Push for Emergency Zika Funding
“Democratic senators along with independent Sen. Bernard Sanders urged appropriations leaders to fully fund President Barack Obama’s $1.9 billion request to combat the Zika virus, rejecting suggestions that funds dedicated to fighting Ebola could be repurposed, according to a letter sent Friday. The effort, led by Connecticut Democrat Christopher S. Murphy, occurs after Republicans in both chambers have rejected a number of requests for emergency supplemental appropriations, Zika or otherwise…” (Mejdrich, 3/4).

Government Executive: OPM Responds to Zika Virus by Streamlining Agency Hiring
“With the Zika viris continuing to spread from Central and Latin America, the Office of Personnel Management on Friday announced it is allowing streamlined hiring of specialists at the Health and Human Services and State departments, as well as at the U.S. Agency for International Development…” (Clark, 3/4).

The Hill: White House: GOP can’t ‘fall asleep at switch’ on Zika
“The White House warned Friday that GOP leaders should not be ‘asleep at the switch’ on the Zika virus, pressuring them to approve the administration’s emergency funding request to fight the disease…” (Ferris, 3/4).

The Hill: White House to hold summit on Zika virus
“The White House will hold a day-long summit on the Zika virus next month, summoning top researchers and government officials to help prepare the nation for the disease to begin spreading in the U.S. this spring…” (Ferris, 3/4).

The Hill: Dems urge Senate to back Obama Zika request
“…Twenty-four senators sent a letter Friday saying that Congress should support the administration’s $1.9 billion request without dipping into the government funds set aside to tackle Ebola…” (Carney, 3/4).

Washington Times: CDC chief to examine debt-ridden Puerto Rico’s response to Zika
“The chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will head to Puerto Rico in coming days to get a firsthand look at the U.S. territory’s response to the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease linked to serious birth defects…” (Howell, 3/4).

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