Here’s What Congress Traded for Today’s Threatened Zika Bill - Pacific Standard

Here’s What Congress Traded for Today’s Threatened Zika Bill

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The White House has already promised to veto Wednesday night’s Zika bill, which snuck by a vote in the House of Representatives amid the Democrats’ sit-in for stricter gun regulations. The $1.1 billion allocation fell short of President Barack Obama’s original $1.9 billion request and includes only $400 million in new funding. The bill makes up that gap with cuts to, and re-appropriations from, other health-care programs. White House Spokesman Eric Schultz decried the bill, saying it was set up to “steal money from other critically important public health priorities,” Reuters reported.

Here are the proposed cuts:

  • ObamaCare:$543 million intended to set up health-care exchanges in United States territories.
  • Department of Health and Human Services: $100 million in administrative funding.
  • Ebola virus:$107 million of non-obligated funding for the 2014 outbreak.

The White House also objected to the potential for the bill to prohibit funding to Planned Parenthood for providing birth control to women at risk of contracting the virus.

House and Senate Republicans agreed on the $1.1 billion bill, which matches an amount the Senate approved last month. But it still has to go to vote in the Senate; the White House veto will only be necessary if the bill passes there.

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