Zika Funding Bill Worth $622 Million, Approved by U.S. Congress
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill worth $622.1 million to fight the spreading Zika virus. Surprisingly, this amount is far lower what President Obama requested, and also lower than Senate legislation.
The Republican House passed the bill and numbers were 241 to 184, and this also led to a lot of confrontation.
The White House calls the bill "woefully inadequate" and threatens to veto it, as Obama's administration requests for $1.9 billion.
The Senate cleared things off on Tuesday and expected the approval of $1.1 billion on Thursday to fight Zika virus which is spread by mosquitoes and is attached to birth defects.
The House bill, unlike the Senate legislation, wants the $622.1 million to be fully offset, with cuts spending elsewhere.
Giving the reason that the approval would add to federal budget deficits, several conservative Republicans refused to approve the bill. However, some Senate Republicans and the Democrats favoured the bill saying that it should be treated as a national emergency.
The time that would be taken by the Senate and the House to come up with a solution for their differences was, however, unclear.
It is concluded by the U.S. health officials that Zika virus can infect pregnant women and cause a birth defect called Microcephaly, which results in a small head size in kids, and further development problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that they have evidence enough that proves Zika virus can lead to Guillain-Barre, which is an uncommon neurological syndrome, and can paralyze adults temporarily.
After Brazil detected Microcephaly's increased cases last year, the virus has been spreading at a rapid pace across America. New cases are being reported in the warmer states of southern U.S.
The administration under President Obama says that they need emergency funding to get rid of this virus spreading mosquitoes and work on a vaccine which can provide a solution to the problem.