Clinton calls on Congress to pass Zika bill 'immediately'

Clinton calls on Congress to pass Zika bill 'immediately'
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts economic agenda in battleground Ohio The Memo: Campaigns gird for rush of early voting Trump's pitch to Maine lobstermen falls flat MORE called on Republican leaders in Congress to interrupt their summer recess to pass funding to fight the Zika virus.

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, is adding her voice to demands from Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress who have been looking to increase pressure on Republicans to call Congress back into session and pass Zika funding. 
 
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"I am very disappointed that the Congress went on recess before actually agreeing on what they would do to put the resources into this fight," Clinton said during a Tuesday visit to a health center in Miami, where there have been a number of recent cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes.
 
Zika, most commonly spread by mosquitoes in tropical climates, can cause birth defects in the newborns of pregnant women who contract the virus.
 
"I’m asking the Republican leaders in the House and Senate to call Congress back into session immediately," Clinton said. 
  
Clinton touted the bipartisan $1.1 billion Zika funding deal that passed the Senate as a possible solution to the growing health problem. But House Republicans objected to that measure because the funding was not wholly covered and instead pushed for a $1.1 billion plan that would use funds originally intended for Ebola virus response and ObamaCare. 
 
Senate Democrats blocked that bill before the recess, pointing to the cuts, as well as the fact that the measure limited funds to Planned Parenthood. 
 
Both parties have pointed to the other as the culprit of the stalemate.
 
In response to Clinton on Tuesday, Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks Overnight Health Care: Ohio governor tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Trump's visit | US shows signs of coronavirus peak, but difficult days lie ahead | Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) called on Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineEx-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets USAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal MORE (D-Va.), and other Democrats to stop blocking the Republican-backed Zika response bill. 
 
"We would love for Sen. Kaine and others to end that filibuster and pass the bill, but it doesn’t sound like they’re prepared to do that," Stewart said. "Apparently they believe an earmark for Planned Parenthood in the future is more important that preventing the threat of Zika now."
 
He added that in pro forma sessions this week, Democrats could drop their opposition and allow the Republican-backed bill to pass unanimously. 
 
Democrats, though, are still objecting to that bill. Before the recess, they called for Republicans to return to the negotiating table, but Republicans refused. 
 
Clinton made the call for renegotiation again on Tuesday.
 
"Pass the bipartisan bill from the Senate or come up with a new compromise that does the same," she said. 
 
GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE, meanwhile, has remained largely quiet on the issue of Zika. Asked about his view on Zika funding from Congress, Trump last week pointed to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).  
 
"I would say that it's up to Rick Scott," Trump said. "It depends on what he's looking to do, because he really seems to have it under control in Florida."