Billion dollar Zika virus funding approved by Senate

zaka{BNN / WASHINGTON, U.S.} – The U.S. Senate on May 17 reportedly voted in favour of setting aside $1.1 billion to battle the Zika virus in 2016 and 2017.

According to reports, the amount was slightly lesser than President Barack Obama’s initial request of $1.9 billion three months ago, but more than what is being proposed by House Republicans.

The Senate passed the motion with 68 votes for and 29 against.

If approved further, the Zika virus bill will be added to an unrelated spending bill.

Reports added that the House is to debate its $622 million anti-Zika measure on May 18, with the White House’s threat to veto the bill looming large because the amount seemed “woefully inadequate given the significant risk that is posed by Zika.”

The proposal reportedly warranted the pairing of the amount with balancing spending cuts to unspent Ebola funding and extra money from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Democrats also nipped in the bud a Republican-backed proposal to breach Obama’s health care law fund.

The battle against Zika virus is known to cause severe birth defects including microcephaly.

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About Cholo Brooks 14257 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.