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Will Senate Recess Without Approving Zika Funding Amid Mosquito Season?

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Will Senate Recess Without Approving Zika Funding Amid Mosquito Season?

Congressional Republicans proposed a Zika-virus funding package valued at $1.1 billion that was ultimately blocked by Democrats and shot down.

A vote failed 52 to 48 to advance the legislation. According to the Washington Post, the bill contained politically motivated language against Planned Parenthood and environmental regulations.

It seems Congress will likely head into a congressional recess next month without any serious action on the Zika virus.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) was quoted by the Washington Post as saying the bill passed by his fellow Republicans was "the one shot" to take meaningful action. He added, "There's not going to be another opportunity to deal with this in the near future."

Related Link: Inovio's Zika Vaccine To Enter Human Trial Period Very Soon; H.C. Wainwright Reiterates Buy

Cornyn also said that Democrats are acting like "sore losers" for engaging in a "partisan filibuster to stop funding for this impending public health crisis."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) naturally took the other side of the argument. He was also quoted by the Washington Post as saying, "I don't remember anything as outrageous, as shameful as this piece of legislation."

Pharmaceutical companies that are at the forefront in battling the Zika virus were trading mixed on Wednesday. Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO) were trading lower by more than 1 percent at $9.08, but rebounded at time of writing to $9.36, up 1.64 percent on the day.

A spokesperson for Inovio told Benzinga back in January that it plans on completing testing of a Zika vaccine in mice and monkeys by the third quarter of this year before moving to a Phase 1 study in the fourth quarter.

On the other hand, shares of Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) were trading higher by more than 4 percent. The company's INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections and diseases, including the Zika virus.

 

Related Articles (INO + CERS)

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