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Zika funding fails to pass in Congress - again

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Once again, federal funding for $1.1 billion to fight Zika is blocked in Congress. (WPVI)

Once again, federal funding for $1.1 billion to fight Zika is blocked in Congress.

The measure passed in the House, but fell short in Senate.

Senate Democrats say the Zika bill has provisions that would prevent money going to Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico, where the virus is running rampant.

Republicans counter that it funds other health centers there to protect women.

Democrats also say the bill strips a ban on Confederate flags in military cemeteries.

"The display of the Confederate flag. There's some people that want the display in some areas. What does that have to do with Zika?" said Sen. Bill Nelson (D- Florida).

As the fight played out on Capitol Hill, another battle was brewing in Miami Beach.

Some residents are protesting the use of pesticides to be sprayed overhead to kill mosquitoes.

What's clear is tensions are boiling.

"My message to both parties and both chambers for this month is simple and straight forward: Zika is not a game," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida).

And time could be running out.

"If the funding isn't available now to prevent Zika infections, then six to nine months from now, we're going to be seeing babies being born with severe brain damage," said Dr. Besser.
Related Topics:
healthhealthcheckzika viruscongresspolitics
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