Congress Finally Agrees To Budget $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika: Gothamist

Yesterday, members of Congress remembered they are obligated to, like, do stuff, when they narrowly avoided a government shutdown by agreeing to allocate $1.1 billion to fight Zika.Initially, the bill was held up thanks to language that would bar funds from Planned Parenthood, since any effort to boost women’s healthcare is akin to slaughtering schoolchildren on national television. (Note that the actual slaughter of schoolchildren fails to prompt any Congressional action.) But yesterday the Senate approved the bill by a vote of 72-26, and later in the day the House of Representatives approved it 342-85, narrowly averting a shutdown that would leave the government without money to operate Friday at midnight.President Obama, who requested $1.9 billion in Zika funding in February, is expected to sign the bill into law by tomorrow. Though an initial iteration of the legislation prohibited funds from going to Planned Parenthood, that language has since been removed. “Women’s health should never be treated like a political football,” Senator Patty Murray, D-Washington, told NPR. “I am glad that Republicans finally agreed to set aside the extreme provisions that would have specifically blocked Planned Parenthood health care providers from accessing critical funding.”

Source: Congress Finally Agrees To Budget $1.1 Billion To Fight Zika: Gothamist