Senate deal reached on $1.1 billion Zika funding measure

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A senior Senate Democrat says there’s a deal to advance a $1.1 billion measure to battle the Zika virus. The bill is smaller than President Barack Obama’s $1.9 billion request but is expected to get sweeping support in a vote next week.

Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, told reporters that she still prefers Obama’s proposal but has reached agreement with Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt on the smaller amount, which is likely to be added to a separate bill.

The administration requested emergency funding to battle Zika in February and was forced to tap more than $500 million worth of unspent Ebola funds last month. The compromise measure fails to restore most of that money

Zika causes grave birth defects and is spread by mosquitoes and sexual contact.

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