On May 18, 2016, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act, by a vote of 241-184. The bill would provide $622.1 million to the federal agencies to fight the Zika virus, offset by rescissions of existing funds (including unobligated resources left over from the 2014 Ebola outbreak). According to the House Appropriations Committee, when combined with $589 million already redirected for Zika purposes, total fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding to address the Zika virus will total $1.2 billion. The Senate has included $1.1 billion for the Zika public health response as part of a separate transportation and military construction appropriations bill (H.R. 2577).
The Administration has stated that the funding provided by H.R. 5243 is “woefully inadequate” and has objected to the bill’s limitation on funding only through the end of FY 2016. The White House has announced that President Obama would veto the House bill if it reached his desk. While the Administration has not threatened to veto the Senate version, it continues to urge Congress to provide it with the $1.9 billion it requested to fight the Zika virus.