Cornyn: Senate could vote Wednesday on Zika funding conference

Cornyn: Senate could vote Wednesday on Zika funding conference
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The Senate could vote as soon as Wednesday afternoon to move to a conference committee with the House on Zika funding, Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit MORE (R-Texas) said.
 
“I think we may well have a breakthrough this afternoon where we can get to conference, and then I think things will come to a conclusion pretty quickly,” Cornyn said. 
 
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Democrats have been pressuring Republicans to act to approve new funding to fight the virus. 
 
The conference committee would seek to bridge the gap between the Senate’s $1.1 billion measure and the House’s $622 million bill, which Democrats have decried as inadequate. 
 
Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharMSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The two most important mental health reforms the Trump administration should consider Sanders searches for answers amid Warren steamroller MORE (D-Minn.) said earlier Wednesday at a Democratic press conference that the $1.1 billion is a “floor” on what Democrats would support. The White House has pushed for $1.9 billion. 
 
Complicating matters, the Zika funding has been attached to the military construction and veterans affairs appropriations bill. Democrats have called for a vote on a standalone Zika funding bill in order to speed its path to the president’s desk. 
 
But Cornyn said Zika funding would be part of a larger package, “not as a standalone.”
 
While he was optimistic that a conference committee could work out a deal between the chambers, Cornyn said there is no deal yet.
 
 
One major disagreement is whether to pay for the funding, which House Republicans have pushed for. 
 
Democrats have been warning that the clock is ticking.