Sneak Preview: No Zika Bill Passed Before July Recess

August 4, 2016 | By Lily McManus | Post a Comment

mosquito-652264-m(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Development Handbook.) Congress adjourned for a seven-week recess on July 15 without passing emergency appropriations legislation that would have made supplemental funding available for federal grants to fight the spread of Zika.

A conference report approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, “Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act Final Conference Report” (H. Rept. 114-640), proposed to reconcile disagreements between the Senate and House on pending legislation (H.R. 2577) by allocating $1.1 billion to Zika-related activities, including $476 million to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the proposal included several contentious measures that prevented its passage in the Senate before the July 15 recess, including the reallocation of $107 million of Ebola funding, $540 million from Affordable Care Act programs and the lifting of environmental restrictions on pesticide use in order to kill Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

Absent supplemental appropriations, CDC and other agencies have repurposed funds for Zika-related grants from other sources, but they stress that more funds are needed to address the threat effectively.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

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