Who and What Is Funding Zika Prevention and Response Legislation?
Zika virus disease in the United States, 2015–2016, CDC statistics
As of June 22, 2016 (5 am EST)
- Zika virus disease and Zika virus congenital infection are nationally notifiable conditions.
- This update from the CDC Arboviral Disease Branch includes provisional data reported to ArboNET for January 01, 2015 – June 22, 2016.
- Locally acquired mosquito-borne cases reported: 0
- Travel-associated cases reported: 819
- Laboratory acquired cases reported: 1
- Total: 820
- Sexually transmitted: 11
- Guillain-Barré syndrome: 4
- Locally acquired cases reported: 1,854
- Travel-associated cases reported: 6
- Total: 1,860
- Guillain-Barré syndrome: 7
Conference Report Summary: Funding for Zika Prevention and Response
The bill provides a total of $1.1 billion to federal agencies to fight the Zika virus and prevent it from spreading. This funding will be available immediately upon enactment, for both fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The legislation contains $750 million in offsets to save taxpayer dollars. Unlike the Administration’s request that allowed overly broad authority for federal agencies to use Zika dollars in virtually any area of government without accountability, this legislation places tight controls and oversight on spending to ensure that every dollar is being used appropriately.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — The bill contains a total of $476 million for the CDC. These funds are primarily targeted to mosquito control efforts, Zika response and readiness in states and territories with heavy mosquito populations, enhanced laboratory activities, continued disease surveillance, international response, and public education on how to protect against and prevent the spread of the disease. These funds can also be used for emergency preparedness grants to state, local, and territorial health departments that may have experienced reductions due to the redirection of their existing dollars to fight Zika.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The legislation provides $230 million for the NIH. These funds will support vaccine research and the rapid advanced development and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests for Zika virus. This includes resources for the NIH to develop both a vaccine for Zika virus and the Chikungunya virus, which are both spread by the "Aedes" species of mosquito.
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) — The bill includes $85 million for BARDA for fiscal year 2016. These funds will provide for research and development activities related to Zika, including the deployment of new rapid diagnostic tests. In addition, this funding will support emerging public health needs within states and local communities, should mosquito populations and the disease spread to additional areas. Targeted funding to help areas with local transmission of Zika — The bill includes $40 million for community health centers, $6 million for the National Health Service Corps, and $95 million via the Social Services Block Grant to be used in US territories and other areas that are experiencing the highest rates of Zika transmission. Funds will support health care, including pediatric subspecialty care, for mothers, children and others experiencing complications from Zika.
State Department/ United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — The bill provides $175 million for programs through the State Department and USAID to fight Zika in fiscal year 2016. This includes $145.5 million for Global Health programs. As insects know no borders, this funding will target international mosquito control efforts ("vector control") to stop the virus at its source. In addition, these resources will support diagnostic tests to detect the virus and vaccines to prevent further spread of the disease. Also included is funding for Zika-related activities of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to fight the disease before it spreads further into the US In addition, $29.5 million is included for Operations of the State Department and USAID.
These resources will cover operating costs and staff to manage and oversee Zika-related programs, coordination with foreign governments to provide public information on how to protect against and prevent the spread of the disease, the medical evacuations of US Government employees if necessary, and resources for at risk US citizens in Zika-affected countries.
Mosquito Control — Language is included in the legislation to allow individuals or entities to use certain pesticides for "vector control" of mosquitos that spread the Zika virus. Upon enactment, the EPA and states shall not require a separate Clean Water Act permit for pesticide application for a period of 180 days. The bill requires that the pesticide be approved and applied in compliance with all requirements under the "Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act", it must control mosquitos, and it must be for the prevention or control of the Zika virus.
Offsets — The legislation contains $750 million in offsets, approximately the House-passed level. These offsets include $107 million from leftover, unobligated funding from the 2014 Ebola outbreak, $100 million in unused administrative funding within HHS, and $543 million in unspent ObamaCare funding that was intended for territories to set up health care exchanges.
Oversight – The bill includes strong oversight measures to ensure these funds are used to fight the Zika virus and vector-borne diseases, and not for other purposes. The Government Accountability Office [Editor's Note: GAO, our favorite govt. agency] and the Inspectors General of HHS and USAID receive $2 million total to maintain strict oversight and to report on the use of the funding provided. In addition, the legislation requires that federal agencies submit spending plans, and that they provide Congress with spending notifications. The White House request contained none of these oversight conditions.
Washington, June 23, 2016 -
The House approved the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Zika Response Appropriations Act final Conference Report (House Report 114-640). The legislation now needs to be approved by the Senate, before heading to the President's desk for final approval.
In total, the legislation provides $82.5 billion in discretionary funding — $2.6 billion above the fiscal year 2016 level — for the fiscal year 2017 Military and Veterans Affairs Appropriations section of the bill. This includes funding to house, train, and equip military personnel, provide housing and services to military families, and help maintain base infrastructure. The bill also funds veterans’ benefits and programs.
In addition, the Conference Report includes $1.1 billion for domestic and international efforts to fight the Zika virus and prevent it from spreading. Approximately $750 million of these funds are offset to save taxpayer dollars. Unlike the Administration’s request that allowed overly broad authority for federal agencies to use Zika dollars with little accountability, this legislation places tight controls and oversight on spending to ensure that every dollar is being used appropriately.
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, the Chair of the Conference Committee, gave the following statement regarding the agreement today:
“I am proud this legislation was approved by the House today. It is the result of hard-fought but productive negotiations, and it is a balanced bill that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can and should support.
“This conference report is an effective, responsible approach to addressing the Zika crisis. It will get money out the door immediately to help stop the spread of the virus and respond to the ever-growing number of cases within our borders and around the globe. It is does so responsibly, offsetting $750 million of these funds and placing strong oversight controls on the use of every dollar.
“Just as importantly, the Conference Report contains funding for military construction and veterans benefits programs at $82.5 billion – an increase of $2.6 billion above current levels. This underscores our commitment to providing the defense infrastructure our troops and their families need, and to fulfilling our promises to our veterans once they have completed their service.
“This legislation epitomizes the priorities that this entire Congress can and should get behind. I urge the Senate to approve it quickly, so it can be signed into law as soon as possible.”
For a summary of the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs portion of the Conference Report, please visit:
For a summary of the Zika Prevention and Response portion of the Conference Report, please visit:
For the text of the legislation, please visit:
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