House GOP presses ahead with Zika measure

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans controlling the House have pushed through a $622 million bill to battle the Zika virus, setting up challenging and high-stakes negotiations with the GOP-controlled Senate and the White House.

The 241-184 vote broke mostly along party lines as Democrats lined up in opposition, heeding a White House veto threat and a warning from a top government health official that it wouldn’t do enough to respond to the growing threat from Zika.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said the House measure is “just not enough” but he’s optimistic lawmakers will ultimately “do the right thing.”

Overall, President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion three months ago for the fight against Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes and sexual contact and can cause severe birth defects.