health

White House Seeks Emergency Funds to Fight Zika

The White House initiative would support research and diagnostics. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration will ask Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus -- a disease the president says is a cause for concern but not panic.  

The White House announced the request to cover research and planning in the United States and abroad minutes after CBS aired an interview with President Barack Obama during which he said “there shouldn't be panic on this -- this is not something where people are going to die from.”  

As Zika Virus Reaches D.C., Congress Calls for Action

Alexander said his committee will hold a hearing on the Zika virus. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Zika virus reaches the United States and the nation's capital, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for an urgent response to prevent its spread, and are scheduling briefings and committee hearings to address it.  

District of Columbia health officials confirmed this week three cases of the virus in D.C., including one pregnant woman. On Friday, Senate Democrats wrote to President Barack Obama, calling for an "urgent and aggressive response" to the virus. "We believe that a well-coordinated interagency response plan, coupled with strong investments in our research and response programs, is critical to addressing the Zika virus," the senators wrote.  

When Even Poisoning Children Is Political, That’s an American Tragedy

   

Who’s to blame for the water that poisoned the residents of Flint? Was it Environmental Protection Agency officials whose political squabbling with state and local leaders delayed getting word to residents? Was it the governor and his appointed emergency manager who, with eyes on the bottom line, made critical life decisions for a worried city?  

Watch Live: House Hearing on Flint Water Crisis

President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint, Mich. on Jan. 16 freeing up federal aid to help with lead-contaminated drinking water. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing on the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Mich.  

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Flint are among the witnesses expected to testify.  

Is Cancer Task Force Another Placebo?

Biden is heading up Obama's task force to fight cancer. The group will meet this week. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

History suggests the White House’s new high-level task force to fight cancer could prove more placebo than antidote, despite its broad bipartisan support.  

The same Republicans who sat dismissively as President Barack Obama ticked off a wish list of stalwart Democratic policy desires during his final State of the Union address joined Democrats in a standing ovation when he announced he was placing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in charge of a new task force charged with curing cancer in 10 years.  

On Cancer 'Moonshot,' Time is Ticking for Biden

Biden is driving Obama's campaign to cure cancer. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden is widely seen as the engine behind the Obama administration’s “moonshot” anti-cancer push, raising questions about its fate once he leaves office next year.  

The White House on Thursday took the first tangible steps in its fight against cancer, formally establishing a task force first mentioned in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Biden, who will lead the task force, sounded at times bold and cautious.  

Watch Live: Senate Hearing on Heroin and Prescription Drug Epidemic

Ayotte holds a heroin epidemic roundtable discussion at the Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia , N.H., on Aug. 26, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and other officials are among the witnesses expected to testify.

Was There Ever an Obama-Ryan Honeymoon?

Ryan greets Obama as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. looks on. It was one of Ryan's few smiles of the evening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama repeatedly had to raise his voice to be heard over cheering Democratic lawmakers during his State of the Union address on Jan. 12. But Speaker Paul D. Ryan sat motionless, his face frozen in a polite — but unimpressed — expression.  

Obama used part of his likely final address to a joint session of Congress to extol policy whims long pushed by Democrats like pre-kindergarten “for all” children and a government-led effort to “to make college affordable for every American.” He also called it a “basic fact” that the U.S. “has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” saying the country is “in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history.”  

Parsing Obama’s Words Over 8 Addresses to Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Delivering his final State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama relied on key phrases and terms that dominate his previous addresses to Congress.  

Obama’s dependence on certain words, however, has changed over the years. When he first addressed Congress as president in 2009, he mentioned terms such as “government,” “tax” and “budget” 59 times. On Tuesday, such terms were used just nine times.  

Obamacare Bill Vetoed With No 'Pomp and Circumstance'

(Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

With little public fanfare, President Barack Obama on Friday vetoed a Republican-crafted measure designed to repeal his signature health care overhaul. But Republican leaders are signaling their repeal push is far from over.  

In a statement, Obama said the health care overhaul "is working," slamming the bill because it would "reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America." "The Affordable Care Act includes a set of fairer rules and stronger consumer protections that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable, and more patient centered," Obama added.