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senate Bill S. 2843

Authorizing Nearly $2 Billion to Manage the Zika Crisis

Argument in favor

The Zika virus poses an imminent threat to the health of many Americans. Congress should fully fund the President’s request for $2 billion in counter-Zika spending before it is too late and the disease affects even more lives.

Alex's Opinion
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05/05/2016
As someone from the southeastern U.S., this is an important issue to me as my home state would be one of the states hit hardest. A little research and perhaps an easily accessible vaccine could prevent a lot of spending on healthcare in the future due to Zika. Just imagine the cost of healthcare for thousands of children with microcephaly and the tragedy that would be for all those families.
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Brandon's Opinion
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05/05/2016
Anyone who thinks we just "don't have the money" for preventative maintenance, doesn't quite understand how the budget works
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05/05/2016
The health crisis surrounding Zika virus is not one to be taken lightly, and it's one everyone should support addressing. The virus has a high probability of making those infected more-or-less sterile and anyone they breed with has a high probability of contracting the virus… for which there is no cure. If the Zika virus crisis is not resolved it could easily spread to a global sterility epidemic.
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Argument opposed

There are nearly $600 million in unused Ebola funds that are being repurposed to be used to fight Zika, so maybe Congress and the administration should wait and see if that’s enough before requesting $2 billion more in taxpayer dollars.

Relmaster's Opinion
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05/04/2016
There are nearly $600 million in unused Ebola funds that are being repurposed to be used to fight Zika, so maybe Congress and the administration should wait and see if that’s enough before requesting $2 billion more in taxpayer dollars.
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Tylersmith's Opinion
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05/05/2016
We should help and work on the Zikka, but 2 billion is way too much for something that will probably die off and not spread as much as we are concerned... Just like ebola
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pgshpak's Opinion
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05/05/2016
Congress doesn't have $2 billion to spend any more than I do.
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What is Senate Bill S. 2843?

This bill would authorize $1.9 billion in emergency spending to deal with the spread of the Zika virus by fully funding the Obama administration’s request to deal with the crisis. Much of it would be made available to the various subsidiaries of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to spend on Zika-related efforts within their specialty area. Additional funding for counter-Zika would also be provided to the State Dept. and its international programs.

Dept. of Health and Human Services

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would receive $743 million to be used in Zika prevention and preparation efforts, in addition to responding to the virus in the U.S. and internationally. Spending would be authorized for the following purposes:

  • Grants improving Zika preparedness and response capabilities at the state and local level;

  • Purchasing products like vaccines that are then deposited in the Strategic National Stockpile;

  • Purchasing or leasing property or equipment, and related construction, demolition, or renovation activities;

  • Purchasing and insuring official cars in foreign countries;

  • This funding could be transferred to specific CDC accounts at the HHS Secretary’s discretion.

$233 million in funding from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund would be made available to be spent on developing vaccines and purchasing medical supplies to counteract Zika and related diseases. 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be authorized to spend $277 million on general Zika prevention and treatment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would receive $10 million to spend on developing vaccines or other medical countermeasures, reviewing and regulating them, and monitoring their post-use effectiveness.

State Department

$325 million would be available to be spent on global health programs that may include multi-year funding commitments aimed at incentivizing the development of global health technologies.

Additional funding that this legislation would provide to the State Department is broken down as follows:

  • $13.5 million for coordinated Zika response and research efforts with foreign governments, which would only be available until September 30, 2017;

  • $10 million would be provided to the U.S. Agency for International Development to spend responding to the Zika virus;

  • $8 million from international security assistance programs to support response efforts;

  • $4 million for dealing with emergencies that happen within the State Department’s diplomatic and consular services;

  • $1 million for direct loans supporting Zika response efforts.

Impact

People involved in the preventing, preparing for, and responding to the Zika virus; the State Department; and HHS.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2843

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced this bill to quickly provide the federal government with funds needed to combat the Zika virus and fulfill President Obama’s request:

“This is truly an emergency. I’m calling on our colleagues to approve the president’s $1.9 billion in emergency funding request right now in the immediate future. Not later. The cost of this inaction would be far greater, and the consequences way too devastating.”

This legislation has the support of 32 cosponsors in the Senate, including 31 Democrats and one Independent.


Of Note: It is unclear whether this bill’s $1.9 billion authorization includes $589 million in repurposed Ebola funding that President Obama is transferring over to fight Zika. That announcement followed Congress’ passage of legislation allowing unused Ebola funding to be spent preparing for or responding to the Zika virus.

As of April 27, 2016 the CDC had confirmed 426 cases of Zika virus in the U.S., all of which were acquired by travelers while abroad or through sexual contact with someone carrying the virus. In Puerto Rico 572 people have acquired the virus, as the mosquitoes which carry the virus can survive in the territory’s climate.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases believes that human testing of a Zika vaccine will begin as early as August 2016, and the vaccine could be granted an accelerated  approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the end of 2017.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Agência Brasília)

Official Title

A bill to provide emergency supplemental appropriations to address the Zika crisis.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedApril 21st, 2016
    As someone from the southeastern U.S., this is an important issue to me as my home state would be one of the states hit hardest. A little research and perhaps an easily accessible vaccine could prevent a lot of spending on healthcare in the future due to Zika. Just imagine the cost of healthcare for thousands of children with microcephaly and the tragedy that would be for all those families.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    There are nearly $600 million in unused Ebola funds that are being repurposed to be used to fight Zika, so maybe Congress and the administration should wait and see if that’s enough before requesting $2 billion more in taxpayer dollars.
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    We should help and work on the Zikka, but 2 billion is way too much for something that will probably die off and not spread as much as we are concerned... Just like ebola
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Anyone who thinks we just "don't have the money" for preventative maintenance, doesn't quite understand how the budget works
    Like (9)
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    Share
    Congress doesn't have $2 billion to spend any more than I do.
    Like (9)
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    We should first work with what we have before authorizing more spending.
    Like (7)
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    The health crisis surrounding Zika virus is not one to be taken lightly, and it's one everyone should support addressing. The virus has a high probability of making those infected more-or-less sterile and anyone they breed with has a high probability of contracting the virus… for which there is no cure. If the Zika virus crisis is not resolved it could easily spread to a global sterility epidemic.
    Like (5)
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    It's just another "virus" created to cause panic and get another "2 BILLION DOLLARS" given to a section of government to use that we'll never keno how it's used. It's another bullshit crisis like " EBOLA" Fuck no. Use that 2 billion on cancer research or for schools or infrastructure for our country. Or how about use that 2 billion to help investigate the corporations and politicians for war crimes , and financial crimes. Avoiding taxes and creating non stop wars in the Middle East. We need to restart our government , it's gotten to corrupt and way to powerful, the founding fathers didn't intend for our government to be this powerful and corrupt .
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    Wait and see was the approach taken to fight AIDS being halfhearted is not going to mitigate the pain to parents and to society of mal-formed babies. Spend $ now, save on medical care in the long run.
    Like (4)
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    Check to see who stands to benefit the most financially from this decision... Then check to see if those same people are part of the reason all we hear about on the news is the Zika virus. This is a false alarm! And like most false alarms, the fire department stands to make a profit by charging you a false alarm fee.
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    We don't have $2,000,000,000
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    Although something does need to be done about the virus, it isn't an epidemic in our own nation compared to Brazil and other largely affected countries. As a country already in debt, setting aside this enormous amount of money isn't in our best interest.
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    Way too much and don't trust federal spending practices
    Like (3)
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    Let's not add to our debt needlessly.
    Like (3)
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    No! We need to cut up Dear Leaders credit card! Ridiculous!
    Like (3)
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    Let the private medical industry do it that's how they make there money why should tax payer money be used for a cure that they will profit from when the develop a cure on the tax payer dime
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    Let's be proactive instead of reactive.
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    This will just be another form of corporate welfare. Maybe the government should give rewards to companies that come up with a reasonable cost effective way to fight the virus. Doing so would likely lead a way to fight more quickly.
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    I think we should contribute some money to contain the virus but I don't think we need to spend $2 billion to do so
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    That's just another way to spread wealth among liberals in office!
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