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The U.S. Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee approved a funding bill that would increase funding for the National Institute of Health by $2 billion, putting the agency’s budget at $34 billion.
The Zika funding debate came to a head this week with the U.S. Senate voting to put together a conference committee to reconcile the Senate’s $1.1 billion proposal and the House’s $622 million proposal. Negotiations were slated to begin immediately.
House republicans have acted on Zika (The Washington Post)
The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriation subcommittee approved a bill that funds the Labor Department for fiscal 2017. The Labor Department announced earlier this year a new threshold for overtime pay of $47,476 per year. The current funding bill does not contain provisions to block the new overtime rule, though lawmakers plan to block the overtime measure through other means.
Senate spending bill won’t include rider to block overtime rule (Morning Consult)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Chinese officials in Beijing this week for the eighth round of talks about strategic collaborations. The dialogue included how to bolster partnerships in the biomedical research fields.
Congress passed an update to the Toxic Substances Control Act on Tuesday that contained a provision that would greatly reduce the amount of animal testing in research. Proponents of the provision argue that moving away from animal testing could improve research outcomes because animal model research results frequently aren’t applicable to humans.