Zika Spending Package Fails To Garner Votes In U.S. Senate Needed To Break Filibuster; White House Calls On Congress To Fully Fund Emergency Request

The Atlantic: Why the U.S. Senate Blocked Funding to Combat Zika
“…The bill, which had already passed the House, failed to win the 60 votes it needed to break a filibuster as senators fell almost entirely along party lines in a 52 to 48 tally. Democrats opposed provisions restricting funding to Planned Parenthood and spending cuts that Republicans insisted on including to offset part of the $1.1 billion in money earmarked for Zika prevention and treatment…” (Berman, 6/28).

CQ News: Zika Funding Up in the Air After Senate Blocks Moving Ahead
“The Senate on Tuesday voted to block a final $1.1 billion Zika virus spending package, scrambling plans to provide much-needed resources for public health agencies to combat the mosquito-borne disease this summer…” (McCrimmon, 6/28).

CQ News: Meltdown Over Zika Funding Leaves Both Sides Angry, Frustrated
“…But beyond the blame game — which Democrats and Republicans engaged in vigorously on the Senate floor and in hallways with reporters — lawmakers from both parties told CQ they see the Zika fallout as a symptom of a larger problem with Congress as an institution. Lawmakers are increasingly unwilling to come together to solve tough problems, they said…” (Mejdrich/Shutt, 6/28).

The Hill: Overnight Healthcare: Blame game over Zika funding
“…Both parties agree that the virus is a real and growing health crisis; each blames the other for the failure to act…” (Sullivan, 6/28).

The Hill: McConnell pledges redo vote on Zika after break
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned lawmakers Tuesday they would vote again on a $1.1 billion package to fight the Zika virus after their July Fourth recess…” (Carney, 6/28).

Mother Jones: Congress Once Again Fails to Fund the Fight Against Zika
“…It has already been more than four months since President Barack Obama first submitted a request for $1.9 billion in emergency funds to combat the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to devastating birth defects…” (D’Amora, 6/28).

New York Times: Zika Bill Is Blocked by Senate Democrats Upset Over Provisions
“…The stalemate, accompanied by a sharp war of words on the Senate floor, raised the prospect that the partisan divide in Congress was hindering the government’s ability to respond effectively to a pressing public health emergency…” (Herszenhorn, 6/28).

Reuters: U.S. lawmakers deadlock on agreeing funds to fight Zika virus
“…Democrats were especially angry that the Republican proposal that failed on Tuesday would not allow funding to go to private entities such as the women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood, although the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted…” (Cornwell, 6/28).

Reuters: White House chides Congress for failing to fund Zika
“White House spokesman Josh Earnest, on Tuesday, chided Republicans for failing to push forward with the president’s request for funding to combat the Zika virus and address an urgent public health crisis…” (Rascoe et al., 6/28).

Roll Call: After Senate Stalls, White House Digs in on Zika Funding
“…The White House continued to signal it is in no mood to compromise, making it difficult to see how lawmakers will strike an accord that satisfies enough of them and Obama. Underscoring the bad blood, [a] White House official called the House-passed measure, which the Senate attempted to move toward a final vote, an ‘irresponsible, underfunded, and purely partisan’ effort…” (Bennett, 6/28).

USA TODAY: Bill to provide $1.1 billion Zika funding dies in Senate vote
“…Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., immediately made a motion to reconsider the vote, raising the possibility of another vote on the same bill next week. ‘We’ll address this matter again (next week) and hopefully respond…to this pending health care crisis,’ he said…” (Kelly, 6/28).

Wall Street Journal: Zika Spending Bill Is Blocked by Senate Democrats Due to Planned Parenthood Exclusion
“A stalemate in Congress over funding to combat the Zika virus will give lawmakers a scant two weeks in July to overcome differences that have only grown deeper and more partisan since President Barack Obama first requested the emergency money in February…” (Hughes/Armour, 6/28).

Washington Post: Efforts to fight Zika fail as lawmakers play politics with looming health crisis
“…The inaction came amid dire warnings from medical experts about Zika, which can cause devastating birth defects in babies whose mothers are infected while pregnant. Public health experts said money is desperately needed to develop a vaccine, educate the public, and learn more about the virus, which can be spread through mosquitoes and through sexual activity…” (Zezima, 6/28).

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