Happening on the Hill: May 16, 2016


The House and Senate are both in session this week.


This week, the House will be working on legislation related to Zika, defense, and appropriations:

  • H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), will be considered by the House. The bill would facilitate the use of certain pesticides by removing them from Clean Water Act requirements for permitting.
  • The House will also consider Zika funding legislation. According to the House Appropriations committee, the bill “provides $622.1 million for domestic and international efforts, fully paid for with existing federal funds.” A vote on the measure is expected later in the week.
  • H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 will be debated and potentially voted on by the House this week. The legislation would authorize the government to spend $603.3 billion on defense-related programs. There have been nearly 400 amendments filed on the bill. FreedomWorks is reviewing the amendments and the bill.


This week, the Senate will continue working on the appropriations process:

  • The Senate will consider the Transportation/Housing and Urban Development spending bill and the Military Construction/ Veterans Affairs spending bill. The plan in the Senate is to combine the two spending bills into one bill, called a minibus. The bills have been combined by Senate leadership in order to get as many of the 12 spending bills passed by the chamber as possible.
  • Zika funding remains a priority for the Senate. This week, the Senate will be considering three alternatives to funding the response to Zika. The options before the Senate are: 1) An amendment by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) to fully fund President Obama’s request for $1.9 billion in funding for Zika; 2) An amendment by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to provide $1 billion in funding which would be offset through spending cuts to Obamacare’s Prevention and Public Health Fund; and 3) An amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo) that would fund $1.1 billion for Zika response.