Congress to approve $7.7 billion for flu


House and Senate conferees reached an agreement late Thursday on the $105.9 billion war supplemental bill, which includes $7.7 billion to respond to pandemic flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and the Health and Human Services Department will receive $1.5 billion in additional fiscal year 2009 appropriations, as well as $5.8 billion for a contingency fund for expanding detection efforts, increasing federal drug stockpiles and developing and administering vaccines. President Barack Obama had requested $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2009 funds and $2 billion in contingency funds.

In addition, the supplemental provides $350 million to help state and local governments prepare for and respond to a pandemic. It also includes $50 million for global efforts to track and contain the spread of pandemic flu. Obama did not request funding either of those efforts.

The bill now goes back to the chambers for consideration, with leaders stating they’re eager to pass the final bill quickly.


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