Republicans Shocked White House Won't Bite on Zika Funding
Obama, aides continue to demand $1.9 billion to fight virus

Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks with a reporters as she leaves the Senate Republicans' policy luncheon on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Veteran Republicans are flabbergasted that the Obama administration has not once budged during four months of talks in demanding nearly $2 billion to fight the Zika virus outbreak, a posture that's helped stall emergency legislation.  

The White House and Democrats who participated in the talks say the sum, first requested in February, reflected what senior federal health officials determined is needed to track the spread of the disease, develop vaccines and study links between Zika and birth defects, among other tasks.  

Zika Deal in the Works as CDC Reports Virus-Linked Birth Defects
House may vote on compromise package next week

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the Zika conference committee was close to compromising on an emergency spending proposal to combat the virus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday the chamber may vote on a conference report addressing a response to the Zika virus outbreak next week if Senate and House negotiators produce a final package.  

"I'm hopeful in my conversations with the conferees that they are close to finishing," McCarthy said.  

As Zika Risk Escalates, Congress Heads Out
Report says 2 million pregnant women in the U.S. could contract the virus

An Aedes aegypti mosquito, seen through a microscope, which transmits the Zika virus. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As lawmakers leave for their Memorial Day break, a left-leaning think tank says more than 2 million pregnant women — and the children they are carrying — in the United States could be at risk of contracting the Zika virus.  

The Center for American Progress released a new analysis Thursday that estimates “the number of pregnant women potentially at risk in states that are projected to have a moderate or high abundance of the Aedes species mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus.”  

White House Seeks Emergency Funds to Fight Zika

The White House initiative would support research and diagnostics. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration will ask Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus -- a disease the president says is a cause for concern but not panic.  

The White House announced the request to cover research and planning in the United States and abroad minutes after CBS aired an interview with President Barack Obama during which he said “there shouldn't be panic on this -- this is not something where people are going to die from.”