Congress Zika Virus

The Senate Will Vote On the Same Failed Zika Bill Then Go On Vacation

Written by SK Ashby

This package of legislation has already failed once, but Senate Republican leadership will bring it up for a vote again before they leave town for an exceedingly long recess.

The Senate will vote on the Zika funding bill that partially defunds Obamacare and Planned Parenthood and eliminates certain environmental regulations, among other things.

Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has released a statement condemning the bill and explaining why Senate Democrats will block it.

As I repeat, it’s a mockery of how congress should treat an emergency. What does it do?

It restricts funding for birth control provided by Planned Parenthood.
It exempts pesticide spraying from the Clean Water Act.
It cuts veterans’ funding by $500 million below the Senate bill.
It cuts Ebola funding by $107 million.
It rescinds $543 million from Obamacare.
It strikes a prohibition on displaying the Confederate flag that was in the House bill.

Why then would the Republican leader waste the Senate’s time on this? This conference report isn’t going any place. The Senate will not pass this Republican conference report. President Obama would not sign this into law.

Unless Republican leadership decides to alter their schedule, this will be among the last votes taken before the Senate joins the House on a 7-week recess.

By the time Congress returns to Washington the Summer Olympic games will already be over and there's no telling how many people could spread the virus between now and then. Nearly 4,000 people in the U.S. have already been infected with the virus including as many as 500 pregnant women.

Given that the House has already moved on, we can say with certainty that Congress will not pass a bill to fully fund the fight against the virus before nearly the end of Summer, if ever.

In case you're wondering why this year's congressional recess will be so long, it's because of the Olympics occupying the month of August.