May 18, 2016
The U.S. House today approved the Zika Response Appropriations Act (H.R. 5243) on a vote of 241-184. The bill provides a total of $622.1 million to the federal agencies to fight the Zika virus and prevent it from spreading.
“It’s become increasingly important that Congress act to protect our most vulnerable – particularly infants and pregnant women – from the risks of the Zika virus. This measure will help make sure this happens in an effective, efficient, and responsible way,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill takes a thoughtful, strategic approach to how to address the fight against Zika. It directs funds where they are needed most urgently and where they can do the most good, while paying for every dime. I am pleased the House approved this legislation today, and I urge continued support as it moves through the legislative process.”
The legislation contains fiscal year 2016 funding for agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, prioritizing mosquito control and vaccine development. The funding is fully offset by rescissions of existing funds, including unobligated resources left over from the 2014 Ebola outbreak. In addition, the legislation includes strong controls and limits on spending to ensure all funding goes toward fighting Zika virus.
Combined with the $589 million already redirected for Zika purposes, this bill will bring the total fiscal year 2016 funding to address the virus to $1.2 billion.