Senate Dems: No August break without Zika deal
© Greg Nash

Top Senate Democrats lashed out at Republicans Thursday, arguing they shouldn't leave for a seven-week recess without reaching a deal to fund the fight against the Zika virus.

"We're going on a seven-week vacation ... and unless the Republicans become sensible, the Zika virus will have no work done,"  Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidPentagon forming task force to investigate military UFO sightings Kamala Harris makes history — as a Westerner McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill MORE (D-Nev.) told reporters. "This is really outrageous that we're going to go on vacation while this national emergency is pending."


Reid's comments come after Senate Democrats blocked a broader military and veterans spending bill, which included $1.1 billion for the mosquito-borne virus. They are demanding Republicans negotiate a new agreement instead.

But lawmakers face a tight schedule to get legislation to President Obama's desk before leaving for the annual "August recess," which will have them out of Washington from mid-July until Sept. 6. According to Democrats, the Senate is on schedule to be in session for the fewest number of days since 1956.

Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn the next relief package Congress must fund universal COVID testing Ocasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech New poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts MORE (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that Republicans "took the Zika funding hostage."

"Remember we've seen this movie before. This is what they do. They have this hard-right group; they're afraid to buck them," he added.

Democrats oppose the current deal because of a myriad of policy fights, including how the money was paid for and a provision preventing funding for Planned Parenthood.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) has scheduled a redo vote on the Zika funding for next week, but with both sides digging in, it's expected to fail.

Schumer singled out Sen. John CornynJohn CornynEnough legal games — we need to unleash American energy Three pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement MORE (R-Texas), the Senate's No. 2 Republican, who has taken to the floor with photos of children with microcephaly to criticize Democrats.

"If he cares about those babies, he'll come back. ... Come here and get the job done," Schumer said.

Democrats are pledging to keep fighting over the Zika virus, saying lawmakers should be able to come to a deal closer in line with a $1.1 billion agreement passed by the Senate earlier this year.

The deal, spearhead by Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive House approves two child care bills aimed at pandemic GOP, Democratic relief packages B apart on vaccine funding MORE (D-Wash.) and Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSenate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal COVID-19 relief talks look dead until September  Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (R-Mo.), didn't pay for the Zika funding, earning it immediate backlash from House Republicans.