Hoeven: Senate-House Committee Approves Bill to Combat Zika

Congress to Commit $1.6 Billion for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 to Limit the Spread of Zika Virus, Develop Vaccine to Prevent Illness

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Senate-House conference committee charged with reconciling their two versions of the bill has agreed to provide provides $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus. The legislation was approved by the House last week and the Senate is expected to vote on it Tuesday.

When combined with funds already reprogrammed for the Zika response activities, the United States will have committed a total of $1.6 billion to fighting the Zika virus this year. The funding will be allocated to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The measure is offset with $750 million in offsets from unobligated funding from the Ebola outbreak, unused Department of Health and Human Services funding and other federal outlays. Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was named to the conference committee earlier this month.

“We’ve negotiated an agreement that will provide additional resources to fight the public health threat of the Zika virus, which is a public heath priority,” Hoeven said. “The key focus of this funding will be to limit the spread of the disease through mosquito control and other activities, as well as vital research and development of a vaccine that will defeat the Zika virus before illness spreads.”

Key activities to be carried out include:

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Support for mosquito control, surveillance of the disease, laboratory activities, and public education efforts domestically, as well as for Puerto Rico & U.S. Territories.

• National Institutes of Health: Support for vaccine research related to Zika, other vector borne diseases and related health outcomes.

• Reimbursement of Public Health Funding: Provides funding for FY2016 Public Health Emergency Preparedness activities so that states like North Dakota can continue to develop a critical public health and medical response infrastructure.