Reid: McConnell 'stringing us along' on Zika
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBernie campaign 2.0 - he's in it to win it, this time around Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Senate confirms Trump court pick despite missing two 'blue slips' MORE (D-Nev.) ripped Republicans over a stalemate over funding to combat the Zika virus Tuesday, the latest sign the issue will likely be punted into the fall.  

"It’s clear that the Republican leader [Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans up for reelection fear daylight with Trump Overnight Energy: Students around globe demand climate action | EPA bans consumer sales of deadly chemical in paint strippers | Green New Deal set for Senate vote The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies first veto after latest clash with Senate GOP MORE] has been stringing us along. He never had any intention of coming back to the negotiating table," Reid said from the Senate floor. "Republicans have no desire to work with us ... now, or any time in the future. It’s all been a charade." 
 
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McConnell is expected to try to pass the same legislation again, a deal with the House to provide $1.1 billion to fight the virus. 
 
The Kentucky senator has said for weeks that the agreement is the only path to passing legislation this month.
 
With Democrats objecting to the agreement because of how it's paid for and a provision blocking funding for Planned Parenthood, it's expected to fail to get the 60 votes needed to move forward. Even if the Senate passed the measure, the White House says it would be vetoed.
 
Reid noted Tuesday that the administration had tried to set up a meeting for McConnell and House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan says Trump will win reelection because of 'record of accomplishment' Pence loses House office space Dem budget chair: Trump 2020 proposal 'cruel-hearted' MORE (R-Wis.) with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mary Mathews BurwellWhy Trump will win the wall fight Price was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue Overnight Healthcare: GOP chairman to introduce pre-existing condition bill MORE and Shaun DonovanShaun L. S. DonovanHouse Dems call on OMB to analyze Senate budget plan Overnight Finance: Dems turn up heat on Wells Fargo | New rules for prepaid cards | Justices dig into insider trading law GOP reps warn Obama against quickly finalizing tax rules MORE, the director of the Office and Management and Budget, but the Republican leaders declined. 
 
McConnell told reporters Tuesday that he has spoken with Burwell and President Obama and told them that the conference report "is not amendable. What the Senate Democrats are trying to do will not achieve an outcome." 
 
Reid has also spoken with McConnell on separating the Zika funding bill from a larger veterans and military construction spending bill to move it as a stand-alone measure, but he said McConnell was noncommittal. 
 
McConnell has repeatedly argued that re-passing the Senate's bill — spearheaded by Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayJury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay M to woman who claimed baby powder gave her cancer Overnight Health Care - Presented by Kidney Care Partners - FDA chief Scott Gottlieb resigns | House Dems to take up drug pricing bills next week | Planned Parenthood, doctors group sue over Trump abortion rule Insurance group urges Congress to boost ObamaCare subsidies MORE (D-Wash.) and Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntDems shift strategy for securing gun violence research funds The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget MORE (R-Mo.) — is a nonstarter because it's won't pass the House. 
 
House Republicans balked at the original Senate deal because it isn't paid for. Lawmakers have only a few days to try to break the current stalemate on Zika funding before they leave Washington for a seven-week recess.