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Wed May 18, 2016, 09:11 PM

House ignores veto threat, approves $622 million Zika bill

Source: CNN

House ignores veto threat, approves $622 million Zika bill

By Deirdre Walsh, CNN Senior Congressional Producer
Updated 0132 GMT (0932 HKT) May 19, 2016

Washington (CNN) - Shrugging off a veto threat from the White House, the GOP-led House of Representatives approved a $622 million funding package to combat the spread of the Zika virus. The bill passed mostly along party lines, 241-184.

Even with the bill's passage late on Wednesday evening the effort to send the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies emergency money is still weeks away. That's because the House measure will have to be reconciled with a $1.1 billion Senate measure that passed on Tuesday. The Obama administration, meanwhile, is continuing to press for the full $1.9 billion in emergency spending it requested in February, and officials continue to criticize Hill Republicans for not responding to what they say is a growing public health crisis.

"This is the specific request that was put forward by our public health experts. They've been very clear about what is necessary." White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday ahead of the House vote.

House Republicans pointed out that the administration is already using $600 million to address the Zika virus, so the additional money in this bill adds up to over $1 billion dollars being spent this year. They also pledged to have more money in next year's spending bills specifically for Zika.

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Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/05/18/politics/zika-funding-bill-congress-veto/index.html

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