Health Care

McConnell: In the end, no resistance to new Zika money

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that in the end, he does not think there will be opposition to providing new funding to combat the Zika virus. 

McConnell said congressional Republicans are working with the administration to figure out the details. 

{mosads}“We’re working with them on it to figure out exactly the right amount of money,” McConnell said at a press conference. “You know, how is it going to be spent? And I don’t think, in the end, there will be any opposition to addressing what we think is going to be a fairly significant public health crisis.” 

The White House has been pressuring congressional Republicans to act, saying that they have already been provided with enough details and should have already approved the White House request for $1.9 billion in new funds. 

Republicans initially resisted the idea of providing new funds outside of the regular appropriations process, but have recently been showing more openness to the new funding. 

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in March that the administration already has “plenty of money” to fight Zika. His office said any new funds could come through the regular appropriations process.

But last week, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he is open to new supplemental funding to fight Zika, though he needed a more detailed breakdown of where the money would go before acting. 

The White House says it already has provided those details, but Republicans countered that its response was just a rehash of publicly available information.

The administration also tweaked its request Monday, asking to shift more funds into vaccine research, though Republicans say they still have not received the detailed proposed spending breakdown that they need. 


Tags Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan Zika virus

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