Healthcare

House Dems introduce $2B funding bill for Zika virus

House Democrats on Monday introduced a bill to boost the nation’s response against the Zika virus with nearly $2 billion in emergency funds.

The legislation would meet President Obama’s $1.9 billion funding request in full — an approach that has been repeatedly ruled out by House GOP leaders.

{mosads}The bill was sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, as well as Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

It’s the latest attempt by Democrats to accuse Republicans of ignoring the looming outbreak of the Zika virus after refusing Obama’s funding request. GOP leaders say the request is too large and that the administration already has a half-billion dollars in reserves to address the crisis.

“While Republicans inexplicably block action to protect America’s expectant mothers from Zika, Democrats are continuing to demand the robust emergency resources American families need,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote in a statement.

The mosquito-borne virus, which can cause birth defects, is expected to begin spreading in the Southern U.S. in early June.

“Republicans’ inaction in the face of the threat that the Zika virus poses for millions of Americans this summer, including more than two million pregnant women, could have devastating consequences,” Pelosi wrote in a statement.

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