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A Bipartisan Deal Funding to Fight Zika Virus | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File photo shows an Aedes aegypti mosquito inside a test tube as part of a research on preventing the spread of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases at a control and prevention center in Guadalupe, neighbouring Monterrey

WASHINGTON – A new funding package was introduced as a solution to the spending bill of funding Zika. Next week U.S. Senators will have the chance to vote for one of different proposed options that best fund the White House’s request for $1.9 billion.

Meanwhile, the bipartisan deal which was agreed on this week with a $1.1 billion, broke a months-long standoff over how much spending shall be needed to address the growing public health threat.

On the other hand, House Republicans are getting ready to reveal their very own proposal next week with less than $1 billion in funding, an offer more likely to be rejected by the Democrats, who are expected to strongly support the Senate compromise option, sponsored by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Republicans are also expected to support the compromise option, despite falling short of the White House request, noting that the Senate is scheduled to vote on all three amendments on Tuesday.

Democrats, including Murray, will probably vote for both the full funding option as well as the compromise one, to register their support for the White House proposal. Murray expressed her satisfaction in regard of the deal and said she was very happy for working on such an emergency funding bill in such a short-time with Chairman Blunt.

“I continue to urge my colleagues to support the President’s full request, but I am very encouraged that Democrats and Republicans will be able to come together with a strong step forward to help ensure families across the country are prepared to respond to this emergency” said the latter.

In addition to the aforementioned House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., told reporters on Friday, that he is firming up a Zika funding proposal that he plans to release Monday. The measure might be opposed by Democrats because it would take from money already allocated to other government programs, totaling “less than a billion” which is not as much as requested by the White House.

Rogers said under his proposal the funding would be available immediately and that if needed more could be appropriated in the next fiscal year. “We’re not sure where it’s going, the experts can’t really tell us for sure what’s going to be needed when and how,” Rogers said. “The money we’re talking about will take care of fiscal 16, and then we’ll see how it evolves.”