Reid: Congress should return 'immediately' to fight Zika

Reid: Congress should return 'immediately' to fight Zika
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November Durbin: Democrats can 'slow' Supreme Court confirmation 'perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at most' Supreme Court fight pushes Senate toward brink MORE (Nev.) on Friday called on Congress to return from its summer recess early to provide funding to fight the Zika virus. 

The call comes after officials in Florida announced earlier in the day that there is a high likelihood that the first cases of the virus being transmitted in the continental United States by mosquitoes have occurred.

Zika funding has been caught in a partisan tug of war in Washington. 


The White House sought $1.9 billion in Zika funds, and Democrats pushed congressional Republicans for months to approve the funding. Republicans finally agreed to provide funding, but their $1.1 billion bill included several provisions that Democrats objected to, such as limiting funding to Planned Parenthood and paying for Zika efforts with cuts to ObamaCare and Ebola funds. 

Democrats ended up blocking the funding measure with those provisions, and Republicans refused to negotiate a deal. 

Republicans, including AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump, Biden have one debate goal: Don't lose RNC chair on election: We are on track to win the White House Kenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 MORE (R-Wis.), on Friday continued to push for their bill, which Democrats object to, and called on Democrats to stop blocking it.