House passes $1.1B Zika bill over Democratic opposition


WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has passed a $1.1 billion House-Senate measure to combat the Zika virus, but the GOP-drafted measure is a nonstarter with Senate Democrats and the Obama White House.

The measure was unveiled late Wednesday and approved by the House early on Thursday morning by a 239-171 vote that broke along party lines.

The rapid turn of events ignited another round of the partisanship that has dogged the measure from the start and raised questions about whether lawmakers will manage to pass anything on Zika in the short time left before exiting Washington in mid-July for the political conventions.

Now, the House-passed compromise measure advances to the Senate, where Democrats promise to filibuster it to death.

Thursday’s measure largely splits the difference between earlier House- and Senate-passed versions.

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