White House Speeding Up Zika Response; Democrats Continue Calls For Senate To Reconvene To Approve Emergency Funding

The Hill: White House: Zika money is half depleted
“…The White House is speeding up the national response to the mosquito-borne virus amid mounting public concerns that Zika is spreading in the U.S., though Republican lawmakers still say the money is being spent too slowly…” (Ferris, 8/2).

The Hill: Florida Dem pushes McConnell on Zika funding
“Sen. Bill Nelson is urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use one of the Senate’s brief summer sessions to pass funding to fight the Zika virus. The Florida Democrat sent a letter to McConnell Tuesday saying he could use what’s called a pro-forma meeting, which normally last for a few minutes at most, to avoid bringing every senator back to Washington…” (Carney, 8/2).

Huffington Post: With Congress On Break, Zika Funding Runs Out This Month
“Key federal programs to create a vaccine against the Zika virus will run out of money this month if Congress doesn’t authorize new spending, the Obama administration said Monday. Congress is on vacation until after Labor Day, and leaders of the House and Senate both said Friday that there was no reason for Congress to rush back…” (McAuliff, 8/1).

Huffington Post: Mitch McConnell Admits Zika Legislation Is Not Clean
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made a revealing admission: The Zika legislation that failed in Congress before lawmakers went on their long vacation is not ‘clean.’ … ‘No bills are completely clean,’ McConnell said, implying that all legislation needs to be loaded down with partisan favors in order to pass. ‘They’re always a combination of interests because neither side is irrelevant. This is divided government. Both Democrats and Republicans have sway, have power to influence things.’ It wasn’t clear from McConnell’s remarks what he thought Democrats were getting in the Zika bill that Republicans found objectionable…” (McAuliff, 8/2).

POLITICO: Kaine calls on GOP to cancel recess and pass Zika bill
“Democratic vice presidential nominee [and sitting Virginia Senator] Tim Kaine called on Republican leadership to reconvene Congress to pass new Zika legislation after Democrats blocked a GOP proposal earlier this summer. … He did not mention the Zika virus during his first solo rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, but made sure to focus on it here at Daytona State College…” (Everett, 8/2).

Reuters: U.S. officials provide stopgap Zika funds, Congress urged to act
“Federal health officials, scrambling to fund efforts to combat the spread of the Zika virus in the United States, said on Tuesday they have provided more stopgap money to various locales while calls grew for Congress to cut short its recess and act…” (Grover et al., 8/2).

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