Emergency Zika funds pass Senate with ease; contention likely in the House

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bipartisan compromise to provide $1.1 billion in emergency funds to combat the Zika virus, according to The New York Times.

The proposal falls short of the $1.9 billion requested for the Zika fight by President Barack Obama. The measure will likely meet contention in the House, where Republicans have put forth a proposal to siphon $622 million from other programs to put toward Zika prevention and treatment measures.

Some Senate Republicans from have been vocal in their support for the allocation of emergency Zika funding. According to the Times, on the Senate floor, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said, "There have already been 1 million cases in the Caribbean and Central America and South America, 500 cases in the United States of America, and it's going to grow...this is a lot of money, but it is only a pittance compared to what it would cost if the epidemic got out of control and we didn't stop it and we didn't defeat it."

Thomas Frieden, MD, director of the CDC, expressed concern regarding the House's reluctance to allocate significant emergency funds for the Zika fight.

Dr. Frieden told the Times, "We're scraping together dollars...we're borrowing money from other programs. We're writing short-term contracts. We can't make long-term commitments to families to follow their kids. We can't do long-term studies on how to stop the mosquito. We want to put together a whole package on how to kill inside, outside, how to kill larvae, how to do what works best. And it's not possible under the House version."

Find where in the U.S. Zika has been reported as of May 13 here.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Big Cities Health Coalition praise federal Zika funding, but call attention to waning Ebola efforts 
Threat of Zika doesn't change Americans' plans for the summer, survey finds 
Best insect repellants for Zika protection

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