WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is trying to turn up the heat on Congress to pass legislation to fight the Zika virus.
Obama says Congress has “got to get moving.” He warns researchers need time to develop a vaccine, and states need time to ramp up mosquito control programs.
The House and Senate have advanced bills to fight the virus. The House legislation has a much smaller price tag and only pays for programs through September 30. Obama has threatened to veto it and is pushing for a deal that comes closer to the $1.1 billion Senate bill.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other serious brain abnormalities.
Obama spoke to reporters Friday after a briefing from health officials on the virus’ spread.