Congress returns to battle after summer break

As Congress bickers, a new poll found strong public support for more taxpayer dollars to fight the mosquito-borne virus. Republicans thought that was too much money. But so far, Congress hasn't appropriated a single dime to fight Zika.

Add to that other standoffs over Mr. Obama's Supreme Court nominee and Democrats' demand to tackle gun control, and the battle lines are drawn.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Republicans should keep additions from the most conservative Republicans away from the Zika bill. After that, the two versions went to a conference committee, controlled by Republicans, to be reconciled. A two-year bill would lock them in through 2018, saving taxpayers $150 billion.

So the White House threatened to veto.

Democrats and some moderate Republicans, meanwhile, want a CR of only 10 weeks, which would go right up to their holiday recess in mid-December. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. They said a House vote would come sometime after that. John Carter, R-Round Rock, Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, John Culberson, R-Houston and Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth.

The media, so enamored with objectivity, largely refused to put blame where it unequivocally belonged.

The Zika funding bill was attached to next year's spending bill for military construction and veterans affairs, typically one of the least controversial spending bills in either chamber. Two of Texas' most bombastic delegation members - Gohmert and Jackson-Lee - could make their marks on opposing sides of the conversation.

The US Senate has failed to pass a funding bill to help fight the Zika virus for a third time. Republicans and Democrats entrenched politically, pointing fingers.

"As Floridians we are proud of our handsome tropical community, but Zika has the potential to pose a public health crisis that could threaten our tourism industry and impact the well-being of our friends, families and neighbors", said Jolly. This is, after all, must-pass legislation; everyone knows that.

First, Democrats were adamant that they would not agree to cut funds elsewhere in the budget to offset the costs of combating Zika.

Capitol Hill returned to its gridlocked ways without missing a beat Tuesday, as Senate Democrats renewed their filibuster of Zika-fighting money, and it became clear a seven-week summer vacation did nothing to cut through the paralysis in Congress. McConnell shrugged off their request. "Congress needs to act and it needs to act now".

Meanwhile, the Zika threat grew apace. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising that pregnant women avoid traveling to those areas of Miami where infections are occurring to reduce their risk of contracting Zika.

But the Zika catastrophe illustrates how little has truly improved. By year's end, the feds expect that 25 percent of Puerto Ricans will have Zika.

"As Republicans stalled, Zika spread quickly", he said.

Wednesday night, Congress offered the nation a spectacle of bipartisan blame - a crass betrayal of the American public's trust in government - as it forced the collapse of a bill that would have funded the U.S. health response to Zika.

It's only going to get worse. The GOP plan would deny the group money to provide contraception to women in Puerto Rico, which has the most Zika cases of any state or territory. The findings were released just one day after the Senate rejected a $1.1 billion funding proposal.

Long story short: This is a bona fide and looming crisis, especially for Florida.

Mr. Ryan said he expected a way forward on Zika "by the end of this month", even as GOP leaders called on Democrats to stop "playing politics" with the package. If they refuse, Florida voters need to exact a price.

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