Zika funding stalled again

Zika funding stalled again

Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) photo of Zika virus. Photo/CDC

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Returning to Washington, D.C. following a month-long recess, the Senate failed Tuesday night to pass a $1.1 billion package aimed at combating the Zika virus in the face of a Democratic filibuster.

Democrats have balked at the measure due to controversial riders attached to the bill, primarily language that prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds to address the health crisis.

A motion to bring the legislation up for a vote failed 52-46, 8 votes shy of the 60 needed to override the filibuster.

The funding, sought by the Obama administration, has been stalled in the upper chamber twice before.

In the debate leading up to the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats of pointing “to a series of partisan excuses” in order to drag their feet.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) admonished Republicans for both focusing on Planned Parenthood and not cutting the August recess short in order to pass the legislation.

The funding will likely be considered again as an addition to a stop-gap measure that must be approved by the end of this month in order to stave off a government shutdown.

There have been 2,700 cases of the virus in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control.

Florida has reported 56 cases, a number that includes seven announced on Tuesday alone.

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