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Congress Initiates Response to Swine Flu

Congress moved to respond to the global swine flu scare on Monday, setting up hearings for later this week and at least one Member calling on the Obama administration to recommend restricting travel to Mexico.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee scheduled a subcommittee hearing on the federal response to the crisis for Thursday. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), meanwhile, urged the State Department to issue an advisory warning against travel to Mexico. The administration is going to outline rules for travel to Mexico later in the day.

“Mexico is the origin of this outbreak, and we need to cut this spread off at the root by limiting travel,— Weiner said.

Weiner also is asking what should be done to monitor public health at the country’s borders.

So far, eight cases of swine flu have been contracted by students in the borough of Queens, which is represented by Weiner.

House and Senate leaders, meanwhile, are monitoring the situation, as is the Capitol’s attending physician.

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