US Zika funding bill halted

By |  June 29, 2016

U.S. CapitolUPDATED JULY 5 WITH LAST PARAGRAPH

Just days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.1 billion Zika funding package, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reports, Senate Democrats blocked the bill. The measure failed 52-48 in a procedural vote that needed the support of 60 senators to advance. The NPMA notes the bill had a funding mechanism that would defund portions of the American Care Act (ACA) and Planned Parenthood.

According to the NPMA, components of the Zika funding package that had a direct impact on the structural pest management industry include:

  • $476,000,000 in funds will be made available directly to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through September 2017 to prevent, prepare for and respond to Zika virus and other vector-borne diseases (this will include mosquito control).
  • Within 30 days of enacting into law, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is required to detail plans on how the funds will be allocated and/or made available to those that need additional resources. Public-private partnerships are authorized with these funds.
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for mosquito control treatments are suspended for 180 days for those entities authorized/certified to perform mosquito treatments within their state.

In its June 28 newsletter coverage of the development, the NPMA concludes: “The House has adjourned for the Fourth of July recess until July 5. NPMA will use this additional time to push for stronger language supporting mosquito control and to lengthen the NPDES permit suspension or eliminate NPDES permits entirely.”

UPDATE: According to the Washington newspaper Roll Call, President Obama is urging lawmakers to pass a Zika bill before their summer recess July 15. Read more here.

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