from the hill

Clinton to Call Congress to Return and Address Zika Funding

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will call on Congress to return from recess and approve emergency funding to fight Zika during her campaign stop in Miami, according to a campaign aide.

In February, President Obama requested $1.9 billion to develop a vaccine and control the mosquitoes that carry the virus, but that spending was not approved by Congress before they recessed in July.

Though funds have not been approved, agencies have already begun to deploy workers. The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) has sent over 100 employees to affected regions within the United States and to other countries.

Additionally, a spokesman for the Department of Defense said, "DOD has deployed multiple subject matter [experts] to known areas where the Zika virus is present to support the development of integrated vector control plans.”

The spokesman also said DOD is also actively testing mosquitos for Zika and as well asother diseases.

In response to Clinton, Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, issued the following statement:

"If Sen. Kaine and his fellow Democrats want to pass a bill now, they can end their filibuster and simply give unanimous consent to pass the conference report and send it straight to the President this week. If this week is too soon for them, we’ll have more sessions next week and the week after that. Whenever they’re ready to stop blocking funding for anti-Zika efforts and funding for our Veterans, we’ll be here waiting."

Posted in From the Hill

Tags: DOD, Congress, Health and Human Services, HHS, clinton, emergency funding

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