Congress Takes Easter Break Without Approving Funds for Zika Fight

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he doesn't want to spend new money to fight the virus

Congress left Washington Wednesday afternoon without voting to appropriate any of the $1.9 billion the Obama administration has asked for to fight Zika, NBC News reported.

Republicans say they don’t want to spend new money if they don’t have to. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., told reporters this week that there is money in the pipeline “that is not going to Ebola” that can fund the fight against Zika.

National health directors say that money cannot be redirected because it is already accounted for, as researchers run trials of Ebola vaccines and treatments in West Africa.

Zika continues to spread across Latin America and the Caribbean. Cases are piling up in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and southern states from Texas to Florida are bracing for smaller outbreaks as mosquito season approaches.  

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