Rogers, other Republicans agree on $1.1 billion to fight Zika, but Democrats don’t like where the money would come from

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset and other Republican leaders in Congress “are closing in on a $1.1 billion funding deal to combat the
Zika virus, but Democratic leaders are threatening to oppose it over
cuts to crucial health-care programs,” Sarah Ferris reports for The Hill.

Rogers, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and his Senate counterpart, Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran, are trying to meet GOP leaders’ goal to approve a Zika funding bill by the July 4 holiday recess. They “expect to finalize a deal on the long-awaited funding package sometime Wednesday evening, according to their offices,” Ferris writes.

A Democratic aide told Ferris that the deal would use the Senate’s figure of $1.1 billion, more than double what the House approved, but “would use many of the controversial offsets used in the House Republicans’ bill, such as money for the Ebola virus response and programs under Obamacare.

It would also include politically thorny restrictions targeting funding for women’s health programs.” President Obama has asked for $1.9 billion.

Senate Democrats threatened to block the bill, saying “they’ve been frozen out of the talks,” Ferris reports. “There is no bipartisan ‘deal’ on Zika. The only ‘deal’ is House and Senate Republicans agreeing to launch more attacks on women’s health,” Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, tweeted Wednesday.

Jentleson also called the GOP proposal “deeply unserious.”

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