>> Florida and other states are begging the federal government for help preventing the Zika virus from spreading further. But the Senate, now back in session, so far failing to come up with a response.>> The motion is not agreed to.>> Lawmakers blocking bills that could fund protections from an infection that can cause severe deformities in infants.
Each party blaming the other. On Tuesday night, Senate, Democrats stopped two measures that would have paid for a public health response from reaching the floor, which requires 60 votes. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell said he couldn't explain why democrats decided to block a bill that could keep pregnant women safer from Zika.
But the Democrats reasons were clear. One Republican bill stripped funding from Planned Parenthood. The other took out a provision from a House bill banning confederate flags from veteran cemeteries. Minority leader Harry Reid said Senate Republicans are more interested in attacking Planned Parenthood and flying the confederate flag than protecting women and babies from this virus.
The battle over Zika tied into a looming fight over the funding of the federal government. Republicans have tried tying Zika funding to a military spending bill, so far to no avail. The GOP holds a narrow 54 to 46 majority in the Senate which could be up for grabs in November.
But without action the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that carry it could continue to spread.