Republicans flood Zika Funding Bill with poison pills, then blame Democrats for not drinking down.


The Republicans tried to cut money out of the Affordable Care Act, tried to allow the Confederate Flag to be raised again, and when the Democrats said no, guess who the Republicans blamed?

The House-passed measure would provide $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne virus through Sept. 2017, including funds to help develop a vaccine. The spending would be offset by $750 million in savings, including $107 million in unused Ebola funds, $100 million in cuts to administrative funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and $534 million from unspent Obamacare money for health care exchanges in U.S. territories. 

The package also loosens Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on pesticides and strikes a measure that would have banned display of the Confederate battle flag at cemeteries run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It’s like we’re being dared to oppose this legislation,” Reid said on Monday. “We have no choice.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) charged Democrats on Monday with quibbling over minor provisions and standing in the way of spending that could help avert a public health crisis.

“There is no reason Democrats should reverse course now and block funding for Zika control in the midst of mosquito season,” McConnell said, noting the final legislation contains the same amount of funding as an earlier bipartisan Senate agreement. “There’s no reason they should put partisan politics above the health of pregnant women and babies.”

Reid (D-Nev.) shot back that GOP leaders were catering the extreme wing of their party by including language in the package that would put restrictions on how the funding could be used by Planned Parenthood and by offsetting the cost of the legislation through spending cuts to the Affordable Care Act and to Ebola readiness efforts.

You can read the rest at the Washington Post.

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