Last updated: 11:21 AM ET, Thu September 29 2016

Congress Passes Spending to Combat Zika Virus, Avoid Government Shutdown

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | September 29, 2016

Congress Passes Spending to Combat Zika Virus, Avoid Government Shutdown

Photo: Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo via Wiki Images)

On Wednesday, congress sent President Barack Obama a bill that would help avoid a government shutdown and provide $1.1 billion in long-delayed funding to the fight against the Zika virus.

According to The Associated Press, the United States House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 342-85 just a few hours after the Senate cleared the measure. In addition to the Zika funding and the avoidance of a government shutdown, the bill will also provide funding to Flint, Michigan, in order to address the city’s water crisis.

The temporary spending bill also includes $500 million of assistance to flood-ravaged Louisiana and other states.

Pending the approval of President Obama—which the White House says is a foregone conclusion—the government will continue operating through Dec. 9. The passing of the bill comes just three days before deadline.

The normally routine process of passing a temporary spending bill was complicated by the battles between Republicans and Democrats ahead of the upcoming elections, but the much-needed Zika funding has finally been passed.

Part of the reason the funding was finally approved was compromises made by both parties, including making Planned Parenthood eligible for new anti-Zika funding in Puerto Rico and the allowance of a $400 million package of spending cuts.

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