Dems urge Senate to back Obama Zika request

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Democrats are pressing Senate appropriators to include President Obama's push for funding to combat the Zika virus in annual spending bills. 

Twenty-four senators sent a letter Friday saying that Congress should support the administration's $1.9 billion request without dipping into the government funds set aside to tackle Ebola. 
 
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"Dramatically reducing funding for the Ebola account now ... would increase health risks worldwide while also sending a troubling message about the U.S. commitment to ending the current epidemic and preparing for future outbreaks," they wrote to Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Defense: US blames ISIS for Turkey attack | Afghan visas in spending bill | Army rolls up its sleeves Senate panel passes bill that would create 4K visas for Afghans Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office MORE (R-S.C.), Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyOvernight Tech: Obama signs FOIA reform bill | Musicians take YouTube fight to Europe | Feds probe first driverless car death Obama signs bill to expand access to federal records Dems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle MORE (D-Vt.), Patty MurrayPatty MurraySenate Dems: No August break without Zika deal Senators press Obama education chief on reforms Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans MORE (D-Wash.) and Roy BluntRoy BluntSenate Dems: No August break without Zika deal Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Overnight Healthcare: Sanders, Clinton ally jockey for health gavel MORE (R-Mo.), the top members of Appropriations subcommittees that will make initial funding decisions.
 
While the administration has doubled down on its request for emergency funding to bolster its ability to combat the spread of the Zika virus, House Republicans argue that the White House should first use money currently allocated for tackling Ebola. 
 
While concerns about an outbreak of Ebola in the United States caused panic in 2014, it's largely disappeared from the public's radar as reports of new cases have largely ended in West Africa. 
 
Democrats, however, have panned the GOP strategy. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters that it "would be very wrong." Meanwhile, Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, called it "short-sighted." 
 
The Senate Democrats added in their letter Friday that Congress must remain "vigilant" on Ebola, including creating a "stockpile" of vaccines that would be readily available for potential outbreaks. 
 
Friday's letter was spearheaded by Sen. Chris MurphyChris MurphyReid backs House Puerto Rico bill Meet the man who sparked the Democratic revolt on guns The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Conn.). Democratic Sens. Michael BennetMichael BennetCruz-backed candidate wins GOP primary in Colorado Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Ted Cruz chooses sides in Colorado Senate primary MORE (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Calif. Dem missed votes, sit-in on trip to Spain Hispanic Caucus PAC looks to flex its muscles in 2016 MORE (Calif.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownDodd-Frank backers heap praise on GE Capital decision Clinton’s 9 most likely VP picks Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal MORE (Ohio), Bob CaseyBob CaseyThe Hill's 12:30 Report Dems launch new effort on guns after Orlando carnage New bill would ban gun sales to those convicted of hate crimes MORE Jr. (Pa.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsLynch meeting with Bill Clinton creates firestorm for email case WH defends Lynch from Clinton meeting fallout The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Del.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinClinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Reid backs House Puerto Rico bill McConnell pledges redo vote on Zika after break MORE (Ill.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinHomeland Security Committee pushes encryption commission in new report Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Clinton endorses Warner-McCaul encryption commission MORE (Calif.), Al FrankenAl FrankenDon’t let Congress legislate science The Hill's 12:30 Report Clinton’s 9 most likely VP picks MORE (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Mazie HironoMazie HironoOvernight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Senate Dems pledge to keep fighting over Zika Senators to Obama: Investigate whether Pentagon misled Congress MORE (Hawaii), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDems: Keep gun research ban out of spending bills Overnight Tech: Groups grade Clinton tech agenda | Facebook activates safety check in Istanbul | Another holdup for location data bill Overnight Cybersecurity: US sees drop in Chinese cyberattacks MORE (Mass.), Bill NelsonBill NelsonTop Dem welcomes industry TV box plan Congress must resolve net neutrality once and for all Senators seek state revenue sharing for offshore drilling MORE (Fla.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Jack ReedJack ReedMcCain wants hearings on lifting of military's transgender ban McChrystal backs McCain's Pentagon reform proposal Overnight Defense: Biden hits Trump on national security | Dems raise pressure over refugees | Graham vows fight over spending caps MORE (R.I.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Defense: US blames ISIS for Turkey attack | Afghan visas in spending bill | Army rolls up its sleeves Senate panel passes bill that would create 4K visas for Afghans GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call MORE (N.H.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowOvernight Regulation: FDA raises concerns over GMO labeling bill FDA concerned with GMO labeling 'compromise' Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans MORE (Mich.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans The Trail 2016: When a pivot isn’t always a pivot Overnight Tech: Facebook's changes worry publishers | First stage of spectrum auction ends | Clinton recruits from Silicon Valley MORE (Mass.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseWeek ahead: Reg advocates hitting back at GOP agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report Hacked computer network mysteriously back online MORE (R.I), Ron WydenRon WydenOvernight Cybersecurity: DNC hacker Guccifer 2.0 speaks out IRS inversion rules face blowback Senate faces critical vote on Puerto Rico MORE (Ore.) and Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders skirts Biden's claim that he'll endorse Clinton The Trail 2016: Meet and greet and grief Biden spills beans: Sanders will endorse Clinton MORE (Vt.) also signed the letter.

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