GOP cuts funding request to fight Ebola

GOP cuts funding request to fight Ebola
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House Republicans indicated Tuesday that they will provide less than half of the White House's funding request to fight Ebola in the next government spending bill. 

According to a source familiar with the negotiations, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) agreed as of Tuesday morning to spend a total of $40 million to fight the epidemic in the 2015 spending bill. 

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This would include $25 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $15 million for the Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to ramp up production of an experimental anti-Ebola drug, the source said. 

The White House had asked for $88 million for Ebola in total, including $58 million for BARDA, which is involved in coordinating experimental treatments during public health emergencies. 

A spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee would not confirm the numbers, saying the details of the bill are not yet finalized. 

The funding fight comes amid desperate cries for help fighting Ebola from health workers in West Africa and institutions like the United Nations. 

CDC Director Thomas Frieden says the epidemic is spiraling out of control and needs immediate attention from lawmakers and officials around the world. 

The death count in West Africa exceeded 2,000 people this week. 

The House is expected to vote on a stopgap government funding bill on Thursday. The measure would keep the government open through Dec. 11. 

UPDATE: The continuing resolution released Tuesday night ultimately included the full $88 million requested by the White House.

A spokeswoman for the Appropriat
ions Committee said Thursday that reports Rogers had initially limited the funding were inaccurate.

—This post was updated Thursday at 2:25 p.m.