Health / U.S. News

Senate approves Zika funds, tricky talks ahead with House

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks about Zika funding during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington,  Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks about Zika funding during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved its $1.1 billion plan to combat the Zika virus. That sets the stage for difficult negotiations with House Republicans over how much money to devote to fighting Zika and whether to cut Ebola funding to help pay for it.

The 68-30 vote added the Zika measure to an unrelated spending bill and follows party-line passage of a separate $622 million House bill on Wednesday. The White House says President Barack Obama can accept the Senate compromise measure but has issued a veto threat on the House bill, saying it doesn’t provide enough money.

The Senate broke a filibuster of the legislation on Tuesday.

The key difference between the bills is that House GOP conservatives insist spending cuts accompany the measure rather than adding its cost to the budget deficit.

 

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