Prevention – House Passes Zika Spending Bill, White House Threatens Veto

After months of hearings, deliberation, and debate, the House passed ameasure to address the Zika outbreak. The $1.1 billion package includes: $476 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for mosquito control, $230 million to the National Institutes of Health for vaccine development, $165 million to the State Department and the US Agency for International Development to respond to outbreaks overseas, and $86 million for emergency response research through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The package is offset by about $750 million from unspent Ebola funds and funds for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges in U.S. territories, in addition to another $100 million from the Department of Health and Human Services administrative fund. The measure is strongly opposed by Democrats due to the low funding amount, the offsets, and policy riders on environmental regulations and contraception for women at risk for the Zika virus. The Senate may vote on the package this week, though they appear to not have the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural obstacles. President Obama has already indicated his intent to veto the bill.

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