Zika

Poll: Public Wants Congress to Fund Zika Fight
Some not comfortable traveling to areas where people affected by virus

A Miami-Dade County mosquito control worker blows pesticide in a Miami Beach neighborhood last week. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Voters want Congress to make funding to battle the Zika virus a top priority, a new poll shows.

[Administration Sitting on Unspent Funds for Zika]

Ep. 20: Funding Fight Doesn't Squelch Zika Research
The Big Story

Though Congress and the Obama administration are still fighting over how to respond to the Zika virus outbreak, the gridlock hasn’t kept government scientists from trying to develop an effective vaccine. CQ Roll Call’s managing editor Adriel Bettelheim talks to senior Senate reporter Niels Lesniewski to learn more. 

Show Notes:

Where Does the U.S. Stand With Zika Funding?
 

Earlier this year, the White House requested $1.9 billion from Congress to combat the Zika virus at home and abroad. While Congress debated, some funds previously allocated for the Ebola crisis -- and other projects at the National Institutes of Health -- were shuffled to allow research for fighting the disease. But those funds are running out. Despite that, the Senate rejected a GOP-led funding package before Congress left town for their seven week summer recess.

With Zika funding uncertain, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci spoke with CQ Roll Call about what his department needs and when.

Clinton, in Miami, Will Urge Congress to Return for Zika Vote
Lawmakers pointing fingers over stalled funding

Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to call for the House and Senate to either agree to an earlier Senate-passed bill that excludes a Planned Parenthood provision or go back to the drawing board and work out a new compromise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hillary Clinton plans to call on Congress to return from recess and approve emergency funding to fight Zika during a visit Tuesday to a Miami neighborhood deemed ground zero for the U.S. spread of the virus, according to a campaign aide.

[Standoff Over Zika Spending Arrives at Convention]

Blame Game Over Congressional Zika Response Heats Up
Senate Democrats suggest cutting recess short to address funding

Delaware Sen. Chris Coons plays with seven-month-old Max Huijbregts of Washington before the start of a May news conference to demand emergency funding to combat the spread of the Zika virus in the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans and Democrats on Thursday continued bashing each other for a lack of congressional action to combat the Zika virus. Both sides failed to reach an agreement on a spending package before leaving town in July for a seven-week recess.  

In a letter to Republican leaders, Senate Democrats again suggested cutting their recess short to return to the Capitol to pass new funding for Zika. Also Thursday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wrote an op-ed column for USA Today defending the House-adopted conference report on Zika spending that was blocked by Senate Democrats in July over their objections to offsets and policy language dealing with contraception, environmental protections and more.  

Administration Sitting on Unspent Funds for Zika
White House urges lawmakers to act, but it has $385 million available

A city environmental health worker displays literature to be distributed to the public in April in McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

The Obama administration is struggling to explain why it is pressing Congress for more money to fight the Zika virus while sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars that it already controls and could be used instead.  

White House and public health officials on Friday came close to publicly demanding that the House and Senate interrupt a seven-week recess and return to Washington to give federal agencies up to $1.9 billion to counter the mosquito-borne virus.  

First Zika Transmission Cases Within United States Hit Florida
Democrats, Republicans blame each other for failure to pass Zika package

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is seen through a microscope at an exhibition on Dengue fever in Recife, Brazil. The mosquito transmits the Zika virus. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Florida health officials determined Friday that four cases of Zika were likely transmitted by mosquitoes in the state, marking the first instances of mosquito-borne transmission within the continental United States.   

The development prompted the state’s Republican Sen. Marco Rubio to lash out at Congress and the Obama administration for failing to fully confront the virus. Democrats, in turn, scolded Republican leaders in Congress for leaving Washington for a seven-week summer recess without taking action to fund a Zika response.  

Obama Administration Announces Added $60 Million to Fight Zika
Money comes from funds reallocated in April largely from Ebola cash

A McAllen, Texas, city environmental health worker displays literature to be distributed to the public in April. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

Some $60 million will soon flow to states, cities and territories to fight the Zika virus, White House officials announced Thursday.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin awarding nearly $60 million to localities to "support efforts to protect Americans from the Zika virus," including protecting against the birth defect microcephaly, the agency said in a press release Thursday. CDC said new funding will be available to jurisdictions Aug. 1.  

Poll: Clinton's Health Policy Positions Align With More Voters
Voters say rival Trump is not spending enough time on health care

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, right, outpaces her Republican rival Donald Trump in voter support for their health care positions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hillary Clinton may have the edge over Donald Trump when it comes to health care issues, a new poll found.  

About 46 percent of voters said the presumptive Democratic nominee for president best represented their views on health care, according to a July poll from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. That compares to 32 percent who said the same for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. That could be because voters feel Trump isn't spending enough time on the issue: 56 percent said he didn't pay enough attention to health care, compared to 35 percent who said the same for Clinton.  

Congress Struggling to Finish To-Do List Before Summer Break
Action on gun control, Zika, opioids, appropriations remains uncertain

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent believes there are a number of House members who would like to go on record against terrorists being allowed to buy guns. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With only seven working days left before a seven-week break, the House and Senate may adjourn without taking any meaningful action on gun control, Zika funding, opioid abuse and several outstanding appropriations bills.  

The Senate already held a series of failed votes on gun control and the House has yet to vote on the issue. A Republican counterterrorism bill that includes a provision to halt a gun sale to someone on the terrorist watch list for three days unless the government can produce evidence that the person belongs on the list does not have the support to pass the House. It remains unclear whether it can be tweaked to garner enough support before the summer recess.