"Maybe today or
tomorrow," Pelosi told reporters in a hallway on Thursday. She
did not give an amount, but said, "I think they are going to try
to do it a piece at a time, hoping that something else will
happen," an apparent reference to the administration's request
that the Republican-led Congress approve a funding bill to
combat the virus.
The Obama administration in February requested $1.9 billion to
fight the virus, which was first detected in Brazil last year
and has spread rapidly in the Americas. Before going home on
summer recess, lawmakers were discussing a $1.1 billion measure,
but the bill stalled amid partisan bickering.
House Democrats at a news conference urged the Republicans to
reconvene Congress to address the virus. Florida is grappling
with at least 21 cases of locally transmitted Zika, and the
Obama administration has already reprogrammed nearly $600
million to fight the virus.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will spend
all of its remaining funds by the end of September, while two
other agencies will exhaust their resources for Zika by the end
of August, Representative Rosa DeLauro said.
Money will have to be shifted from biomedical research to fight
Zika, DeLauro said. "If they don't, vaccine development will be
stopped dead in its tracks," she said.
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