For the 3rd time in four months senate democrats cant seem to get themselves to vote in favor of the zika bill. The Washington Examiner reported that,
Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a $1.1 billion Zika funding measure for the third time, a move that is expected to trigger new negotiations to author a bipartisan bill aimed at combating the mosquito-transmitted virus that is spreading in Florida.
Senate Republicans tried yet again to get the 60 votes needed to end debate on the bill and call it up for a final vote, but fell short 52-46 as Democrats voted against it. The Democratic filibuster marks the third time party lawmakers have stood in the way of the GOP-authored bill.
Democratic lawmakers have refused to back the legislation because it strips more than half a billion dollars from a defunct Obamacare fund as well as more than $200 million from other unspent federal funds. Democrats also oppose the bill because the funding would not be distributed to clinics in Puerto Rico that are affiliated with Planned Parenthood, a women’s health care and abortion provider. And finally, they want the GOP to strike language in the bill that would allow spraying for mosquitos near water, which is banned under the Clean Water Act.
The best part is that on top of not voting ‘yes’ for the bill – which could potentially help find a cure and help all of these women who the democrats claim they want to protect – they blamed the republicans for why they voted ‘no’. The New York Times reported that the, “Democrats said they blocked the bill because Republicans were using the must-pass legislation to score political points, jam through unpalatable policy changes and cut money from other programs, including provisions that would hinder access to contraception for women and weaken environmental restrictions on pesticide use.”
In May, some House Democrats released a press release stating why they didnt want to vote for the zika bill. “By including Hyde language that denies access to abortions for women receiving Medicaid, women in the Peace Corps and military, federal workers and others, it continues discriminatory policies that deny women vital reproductive health care services based on their income, their insurance, and where they work,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
Many democrats, like those who released the statement, don’t want the zika bill to pass because they would like to extend the date of when abortions can take place and they want to fund more abortions for those infected with the zika.
“Obviously, microcephaly is a terrible prenatal condition that kids are born with. And when they are, it’s a lifetime of difficulties,” Marco Rubio said. “So I get it. I’m not pretending to you that that’s an easy question you asked me. But I’m pro-life. And I’m strongly prolife. I believe all human life should be protected by our law, irrespective of the circumstances or condition of that life.”
“There are now 2,722 reported cases of Zika in the United States and 624 of them are pregnant women. The virus is wreaking havoc on Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories, where there are more than 14,000 cases, including nearly 1,000 in pregnant women,” reported POLITICO.
And in my home state of Florida there are new cases of zika every week. USA Today reported that, “The Florida Department of Health confirmed on Tuesday that six more people contracted the virus in the tourist hot spot of Miami Beach. Over the past month, 40 people have contracted Zika from mosquitoes in Miami Beach and a second South Florida location – the Wynwood art district just north of downtown Miami. Those two areas have become the focus of health officials, mosquito control efforts and travel warnings for pregnant women from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
This political back and forth needs to stop especially when people’s life are at risk. We aren’t talking about funding for just anything, we are talking about funding for a bill that can help us find a solution to a virus that is causing some serious health issues not only to people in Florida but to other people in other parts of the United States. This virus is also running rampant in countries like Purto Rico, Brazil and much of Latin America. It’s time to leave the politics behind and get this done.
“If we don’t get new money, we won’t be able to do things at a pace that is necessary and appropriate to the urgency of this threat,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is working on three potential vaccines against the Zika virus and overseeing a study of thousands of pregnant women infected with the virus.
(H/T – The Washington Examiner)
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