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House-Senate talks begin on Zika request

Posted: 11:07 AM, May 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-26 17:07:30Z

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House has moved to officially begin talks on legislation to fund the fight against the Zika virus, but lawmakers immediately left town for the Memorial Day recess with no visible progress toward a compromise.

The chamber adopted a procedural motion to begin a House-Senate conference panel on a Senate measure that combines $1.1 billion to fight Zika with broader spending bills for transportation, housing and veterans.

Zika is linked to severe birth defects and the funding would pay for developing a vaccine, fighting the mosquitoes that can spread Zika, and helping other countries battle the virus.

A key House-Senate difference in that the $622 million House measure includes cuts to other spending to defray its cost. Obama requested $1.9 billion three months ago.