Congress is back in session, and Republicans are immediately back to their usual nonsense, this time holding funding for fighting the Zika virus hostage again and Democrats not falling for it as the measure would have eliminated all federal funding for Planned Parenthood as well as returned the Confederate flag to national monuments and cemeteries.
McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have both vowed to get money out the door to fight Zika by the end of September. Senate GOP leaders acknowledged for the first time Tuesday that the Zika funding will likely be wrapped into the stopgap spending bill, known as the continuing resolution.
"You know I assume that it would be wrapped in the year-end fiscal negotiations that would lead to some sort of continuing resolution. That's my assumption," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate majority whip, told reporters just before Tuesday’s failed vote.
Some Republicans, including those in Florida facing the most intense pressure on Zika funding, have already hinted that the GOP will have to drop its Planned Parenthood language to get a bill passed in the upper chamber.
“For this to get done, that language just may have to go away,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a leading negotiator on Zika who faces reelection this fall, told McClatchy.
The Senate’s bill would have provided about $1.1 billion, including about $350 million in new money and the rest coming from existing health accounts, such as a fund for fighting the Ebola virus.
Earlier this summer, the Senate approved a different, bipartisan $1.1 billion funding package, though it was ultimately in the House because the funding was not offset.
Both bills are shy of the White House’s total $1.9 billion request, which Republicans from Florida — such as vulnerable incumbents Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Carlos Curbelo — have backed.
Where this goes now, I can't tell you, other than hey, the babies that Republicans care about because they're "pro-life" will continue to die, or continue to be born with preventable birth defects, because
Republicans want to win points in an election year.
And this is all the House and Senate GOP. Trump doesn't have to lift a finger to show the world how awful all the non-Trump GOP are.