The U.S. Senate on Tuesday again rejected a Zika funding bill that the House passed in June.
At a news conference Wednesday, South Florida Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson were among those appearing with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. However, a fight is still ahead the House where members have said they are less inclined to favor any legislation with Planned Parenthood inclusion. New research suggests the virus may not be to blame for the uptick in birth defects in some areas affected by the virus.
The virus, first detected in Brazil previous year, has spread rapidly through the Americas. Democrats have accused Republicans of attaching controversial provisions related to abortion that they can not accept.
Congress’ Republican leaders are facing decisions on averting a federal shutdown, containing the Zika virus and impeaching the head of the IRS. He said he now expects the two sides to come together to negotiate a deal before the end of the month so long as GOP leaders drop the objectionable elements. “They tried to disguise the fact that they wanted to eliminate Planned Parenthood”.
Pairing crucial Zika funding with yet another ideological attack on Planned Parenthood might be seen as yet another case of politics as usual, when each side maneuvers for gain. The abortion activists called killing such babies a “human right”.
The CDC also is advising pregnant women not to travel to an area where active Zika transmission is ongoing, and to use insect repellent and wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts if they are in those areas.
There were 713 cases of Zika in Florida as of Tuesday. Zika, public health officials point out, is similar to rubella (German measles), which caused birth defects in about 20,000 babies a year in the mid-1960s.
Democrats occasionally give other excuses for their filibuster.
Senate Democrats also blocked the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, which includes funds to help in the fight against ISIS. But Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the money has run out, endangering a Phase I clinical trial launched in August to test a Zika vaccine.
“As Zika spreads and the number of Zika-infected Americans reaches the thousands, Senate Democrats must set aside the political rhetoric and support these commonsense measures”. That effectively bars the funding from going to Planned Parenthood affiliates, particularly in Puerto Rico, where the virus is rampant. “Seriously. This is what this is about?” The vote was 54 to 46, six short of the 60 votes necessary for a floor vote on legislation.