Congress Fails to Pass Zika Legislation for Third Time
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For the third time, members of Congress failed to pass a $1.1 billion funding package Tuesday that would help the United States address the outbreak of Zika. The failure to pass the legislation comes as seven new locally-transmitted cases of Zika infections were diagnosed in Florida.
According to ABCNews.com, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting there are now 56 confirmed Zika infections in Florida and a total of 2,686 travel-related cases of the illness across America. The CDC believes at least 23 of the infections have been transmitted sexually.
In addition, CDC officials are reporting 624 pregnant women have tested positive for the Zika virus, and 16 babies have been born in the U.S. with birth defects linked to the illness. Officials from the CDC are warning lawmakers to act now before it’s too late.
“For the health of our country and for the protection of all our children, let's get this compromise legislation done,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said in a statement. “No one should doubt the gravity of the threat or the long-term health consequences of failing to get our work done.”
READ MORE: How to Avoid Getting Zika
Congress voted down the spending package by a 52-46 vote—falling short of the 60 votes needed—due to a movement from Senate Democrats who protested wording that they believe would limit funding to Planned Parenthood.
“They tried to disguise the fact that what they were trying to do was eliminate Planned Parenthood,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said. “Remember, Planned Parenthood last year, 2 million American women went to Planned Parenthood now with this Zika virus frightening women all over America, they want to cut this off?”
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