Tags: senate | zika | funding | breakthrough

Senate Close to Zika Funding Breakthrough

Image: Senate Close to Zika Funding Breakthrough

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Sep 2016 03:31 PM

Senior senators showed light at the end of the tunnel after they revealed that a glitch pertaining to a fight over which health centers in Puerto Rico can use Zika funding, which was obstructing the $1.1 billion bill to combat the Zika virus, was likely to be dropped from the debate, according to Politico.

Democrats have blocked the Zika bill three times in the Senate because of their objection to Republican provisions in the bill, among them a ban on Planned Parenthood using any of the funds. Democrats also don't favor the fact that the bill takes money from other programs to pay for Zika research and prevention.

Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas told Politico in an interview that a standoff over Planned Parenthood is "not the goal."

"The goal is to get money to pay for the Zika issue," Cornyn was quoted as saying. "So if we can agree to postpone our additional debates about taxpayer funding for abortions and Planned Parenthood to a later time, I don't see any overwhelming obstacle to get a solution on the Zika."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid elaborated on Cornyn's thoughts. "What I've seen in my conversations and with Cornyn's very public statements about [the issue is that] he would guarantee or promise we would get something done by the end of the year."

"It appears to me they're going to have to give up some of their crazy stuff like Planned Parenthood. That's the No. 1 thing. They're going to have to find a new horse to whip," Reid said.

Reid confirmed he had not received any formal assurance from Republicans.

The matter is still up for discussion, senior Republican officials said. Without a fight over women's health care, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said that McConnell was "indirectly" suggesting a way forward.

"It's our insistence that any short-term [continuing resolution] include Zika and what we call the clean Zika bill, and they understand that," Durbin said.

Though votes regarding the Zika funding bill are still a week away, senators and aides are look for a quick breakthrough.

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Senior senators showed light at the end of the tunnel after they revealed that a glitch pertaining to a fight over which health centers in Puerto Rico can use Zika funding, which was obstructing the $1.1 billion bill to combat the Zika virus, was likely to be dropped from the...
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2016-31-08
Thursday, 08 Sep 2016 03:31 PM
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