Tags: senate | zika | funding | blocked | democrats

Senate Zika Funding Blocked Third Time by Democrats

Image: Senate Zika Funding Blocked Third Time by Democrats

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Sep 2016 07:02 AM

Senate Zika funding was blocked a third time by Democrats as money to fight the disease is expected to dry up possibly by the end of the month.

The $1.1 billion funding bill, attached to next year's spending bill for military construction and veteran affairs, failed on a 52-46 procedural vote, eight short of the votes needed to move it forward and end debate, according to The Hill.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NBC News last month that funds already dedicated to fighting the spread of the disease will likely run out by the end of the fiscal year this month.

"It's hard to explain why – despite their own calls for funding – Senate Democrats decided to block a bill that could help keep pregnant women and babies safer from Zika," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor, according to CNN.

"It's also hard to explain why – despite the array of terror attacks we've seen across the world – Senate Democrats decided to block a bill that could help keep the American people safer from threats like ISIL."

Democrats, though, argued that Republicans added partisan language into the bill attacking Planned Parenthood and flying the Confederate flag as reasons it has rejected efforts to move the bill forward, said The Hill.

"Republicans were more interested in attacking Planned Parenthood and flying the confederate flag," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor, according to The Hill. "Can't make that stuff up — that's really the truth — than protecting women and babies from this awful virus."

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt suggested a compromise where the Planned Parenthood language would be dropped, noted The Hill.

"For this to get done, that language just may have to go away," Blunt told McClatchy, according to The Hill.

There have been two outbreaks of Zika in Florida and two dozen other single cases, reported NBC News. Texas and other Gulf states are highly vulnerable as the peak of the mosquito season lingers into the end of October, CDC officials told NBC News.

Zika has been linked to severe birth defects — including microcephaly. Microcephaly is marked not only by a small and misshapen head, but major brain damage and effects on hearing, vision and limb development, reported NBC News.

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Senate Zika funding was blocked a third time by Democrats as money to fight the disease is expected to dry up possibly by the end of the month.
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2016-02-08
Thursday, 08 Sep 2016 07:02 AM
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