House, Senate Committees Approve Bills That Include Influenza Pandemic Funds
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to approve a $91.3 billion defense and foreign aid spending bill that includes President Obama's request for $1.5 billion in emergency funds to fight a potential influenza pandemic, the AP/Winston-Salem Journal reports. The House version of the bill, approved Thursday in a 368-60 vote, adds $500 million to the pandemic preparedness funds (AP/Winston-Salem Journal, 5/15).
Last month, the public health emergency involving the H1N1 influenza virus spurred congressional lawmakers to rethink the elimination of $870 million from the economic stimulus package that would have been used to combat an influenza pandemic. Democratic legislators eliminated the funds in order to garner support from congressional Republicans to pass the stimulus package (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 4/28).