Obama urges Congress to approve Zika funding

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U.S. President Barack Obama urges Congress to take action against Zika as more cases of the mosquito-borne virus are reported in Florida. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Obama urges Congress to approve Zika funding


STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama urged Congress for a bipartisan response against Zika, saying the fight against the mosquito-borne virus was “more important than politics”. In his weekly radio and web address released on Saturday (August 27) Obama asked Republicans in Congress to take action as soon they returned from their seven-week recess and provide additional money to combat Zika before government funding dries up.

“Every day that Republican leaders in Congress wait to do their job, every day our experts have to wait to get the resources they need – that has real-life consequences. Weaker mosquito-control efforts. Longer wait times to get accurate diagnostic results. Delayed vaccines. It puts more Americans at risk,” Obama said.

Concern over the threat from Zika, which can cause a birth defect called microcephaly marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies, has risen since Florida authorities detected the first signs of local transmission in the continental United States in July.

Zika funding remains stalled six months after Obama asked the Republican-led Congress to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funds.

A $1.1 billion compromise failed after House Republicans attached language that would place restrictions on abortion and defund part of Obama’s signature 2010 healthcare law.

Senate Democrats, who blocked the measure twice before Congress left Washington last month, want Republicans to agree on a new funding measure that drops those provisions, a step Republicans reject.

Tags : Funding, Zika, Approve, Congress, urges, obama

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