Congress appears to be headed for the July 4th break without a Zika funding deal.
The White House on Thursday rejected a $1.1 billion Zika funding package from Republicans that would have forced the administration to pull most of the money from existing healthcare programs.
"The president would veto it if it ever got to his desk," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters, though he said the bill "doesn't look like it could even pass the United States Senate."
The GOP bill passed the House along party lines early Thursday, and faces an uncertain fate as it heads to the Senate next week.
Senate Democrats say the bill is all but doomed in the upper chamber, where it will need support from members of their party to pass. Lawmakers and aides say that would be extremely unlikely after Democratic lawmakers were dropped from the previously bipartisan talks. Read more here. http://bit.ly/28PU3Oz
Burwell meets with House Republicans on abortion dispute
Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Mathews Burwell met with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss their strong objections to a ruling on an abortion law made by her department, according to Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who was in attendance.
Republican lawmakers decried a ruling from HHS this week that said the state of California was not violating federal law by requiring all health insurance plans to cover abortions.
Smith, who strongly opposes abortion rights and is chairman of the Pro-Life Caucus, said that he did not have his questions satisfactorily answered in the more than hour-long meeting, which took place in the office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Read more here. http://bit.ly/28Q5pCK
Ad campaign attacks vulnerable GOP senator on women's health
The two groups teamed up to release new TV and digital spots, shared first with The Hill, that condemn Toomey's vote to defund Planned Parenthood late last year.
The ad buy from Emily's List is $1.1 million, and its TV spot will air on broadcast and cable in the Philadelphia media market. Planned Parenthood Votes & Action Fund's $250,000 buy is a digital ad that will also run in Philadelphia. The ads will run from Thursday until July 13.
The 30-second TV spot, titled "Alive," features Mary Lou Magyarits, a breast cancer survivor from Pennsylvania, who highlights the importance of screenings to detect cancer early. She said she was "outraged" by Toomey's Planned Parenthood vote. Read more here. http://bit.ly/290zvER
WHAT WE'RE READING
Medical examiners and coroners across the country say overdose deaths have become a major strain on their offices. (Associated Press)
Officials are tracking a Chinese drug distribution system that feeds fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, into the U.S., Canada and Mexico (Wall Street Journal)
Doctors in Syria have been increasingly targeted by violence in the country's bitter civil war. About 95 percent have fled to neighboring countries and to Europe. (New Yorker)
IN THE STATES
Kentucky governor defends his new proposed Medicaid overhaul (Lexington Herald-Leader)
Alaska's GOP Gov. Bill Walker signed a cost-saving Medicaid bill that expands telemedicine and looks to reduce the use of ER rooms. (Fox4 KTBY)