Senate easily advances $1.1 billion in Zika funding

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has voted decisively in favor of a bipartisan $1.1 billion measure to combat the Zika virus this year and next, cutting back President Barack Obama’s request.

The 68-29 vote propels the measure over a filibuster and sets the stage for officially adding the Zika funding to an unrelated spending bill. The measure offers significantly more money to fight Zika than would House GOP conservatives.

The vote came after Republicans blocked a measure matching Obama’s request and Democrats killed a GOP-backed proposal to cut into Obama’s health care law to pay for battling Zika.

A showdown looms with the House, scheduled to debate its $622 million anti-Zika measure on Wednesday. The House would fund the Zika battle through September and is “offset” with cuts elsewhere in the budget.Copyright 2016 AP. All rights reserved.

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