WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in control of negotiations on long-delayed funding to combat the Zika virus are promising a quick agreement. Behind-the-scenes negotiations have focused on a potential deal in the range of a $1.1 billion measure passed by the Senate last month.
A trickier issue involves whether to pair the Zika funds with cuts to other programs as the House calls for to defray the measure’s effect on the budget deficit. Democrats, whose votes may be needed to pass the final measure, are against the idea.
Zika can cause horrible birth defects and can be transmitted by mosquitoes that are common in much of the United States.
Negotiators officially met on Wednesday, but only to make opening speeches to satisfy a requirement for at least one public negotiating session.