Senate deal reached on reduced Zika funding measure

WASHINGTON (AP) – A senior Senate Democrat says there’s a deal to advance a $1.1 billion measure to battle the Zika virus. The bill is smaller than President Barack Obama’s $1.9 billion request but is expected to get sweeping support in a vote next week.

Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, told reporters that she still prefers Obama’s proposal but has reached agreement with Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt on the smaller amount, which is likely to be added to a separate bill.

The administration requested emergency funding to battle Zika in February and was forced to tap more than $500 million worth of unspent Ebola funds last month. The compromise measure fails to restore most of that money

Zika causes grave birth defects and is spread by mosquitoes and sexual contact.

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