Zika funds fail in the Senate again

Emergency funding to combat the spread of the Zika virus in the United States failed to pass in one of America's two federal legislative bodies again on Tuesday, according to CNN.

Senate Democrats and 12 Republican senators shot down a GOP spending bill that would prevent government shutdowns and provide emergency funding to address national crises.

In addition to Zika, the bill would provide relief funds for communities in Louisiana still recovering from severe flooding in August. However, the measure would provide no additional aid to the Flint community as it struggles to recover from a contaminated drinking water crisis. The lack of funds for Flint was the primary reason for the bill's most recent failure in the Senate.

According to CNN, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who represents the only U.S. state experiencing local transmission of the Zika virus, said Democrats are "looking for any excuse to shut down the government because they think it will help them in the upcoming election."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the bill would have passed if it had included funding for Flint, according to CNN.

"Democrats are going to oppose this bill because it pits victims of one crisis against victims of another and unfairly offers a cold shoulder to those in Flint, while providing aid to other Americans," said Mr. Schumer.

Congress will adjourn on Sept. 30. A temporary spending bill must be passed by then to avoid federal government shutdowns and ensure the nation has adequate funding to address Zika.

As of Sept. 27, the Florida Department of Health has reported 109 cases of locally acquired Zika in the state.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
4 suspected cases of Zika-related microcephaly in Thailand 
Puerto Rico reports second death linked to Zika-related paralysis 
Aerial spraying played key role in eliminating Zika mosquitoes from Miami's Wynwood neighborhood

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