Democrats: We’re Ready To Compromise On Zika Funding
If Republican lawmakers drop the Planned Parenthood restrictions, Democrats say the lower amount of funding -- $1.1 billion -- would be acceptable.
Pelosi: Dems Will Back Smaller Zika Bill
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that Democrats are ready to compromise on funding levels to address the Zika virus, provided Republicans drop restrictions on Planned Parenthood using the money. Pelosi said Democrats will accept the Senate's $1.1 billion compromise — in lieu of the $1.9 billion requested by President Obama and demanded by Pelosi earlier in the year — but only if health agencies are underwritten for a full 12 months. (Lillis, 9/7)
Sticking Points Remain, Pose Obstacles To Potential Zika-CR Package
Top senators from both parties are in talks with the White House about a stopgap funding measure to keep the government open past Sept. 30, and while it’s possible Zika funding could find its way into the legislation, the issues that have caused a months-long stalemate are still very much present. Pressure is building to pass Zika funding, and everyone on Capitol Hill knows it. But there doesn’t seem to be an obvious way to get House Republicans and Senate Democrats on the same page. While attaching Zika funding to a CR seems to be the most likely way forward, it’s unclear what form that will take. (McIntire, 9/7)
What Have We Learned About Zika Over The Past Year?
Nearly a year after the Zika virus grabbed global attention, it is still confounding the scientific community. It may not have wowed Congress, or the countries and foundations that normally fund the World Health Organization’s outbreak response efforts, but it has still left scientists scrambling for answers to critical questions. (Branswell, 9/8)
In other news from Capitol Hill —
Lawmakers Grapple With HHS Efforts To Lower Costs
Some Republicans suggested Wednesday that the Congressional Budget Office has not provided enough useful information about the potential savings of demonstration projects from the Health and Human Services Department’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The center is charged with experimenting with different ways to lower health care spending without decreasing the quality of care. It was created under the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the CMMI is stepping on Congress’ lawmaking powers, members of the House Budget Committee said at a hearing about the agency. (McIntire, 9/7)
GOP Chairman Eyes Lame-Duck For Passing Medical Cures Bill
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is looking to the lame-duck session after the election for passage of his signature 21st Century Cures Act, acknowledging that there is not enough time to get it done before Congress leaves this fall. “Knowing that the Senate is likely to file their CR next week…and say see ya in November it’s darn near impossible to get a bill through both the House and the Senate [before Congress breaks],” Upton told reporters Wednesday. (Sullivan, 9/7)