Dems block Senate defense bill, fear domestic spending cuts

Veteran Republicans are flabbergasted that the Obama administration has not once budged during four months of talks in demanding almost $2 billion to fight the Zika virus outbreak, a posture that's helped stall emergency legislation. But compromise they did - and it still wasn't enough to get the Democrats to go along.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy vowed the House will work against the clock to pass appropriations bills as Congress' waning calendar suggests a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past September 30 and an omnibus spending resolution grows ever more likely. According to the CDC, some 320 pregnant women in the USA and D.C. and 279 pregnant women in US territories have been infected with the virus; seven infants have been born with developmental disorders linked to the virus. The child was conceived in Haiti.

"We believe that the opioid epidemic is truly a public health crisis and should be treated as such", the Democrats wrote.

The opioid epidemic, which has hammered both blue states and red states alike and killed some 47,000 Americans in 2014 - a larger number than auto accident deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control - offers a similar opportunity.

"We will deal with that when we reach it, but right now we have appropriations bills before us, so why would we stop now?" he said.

While the measure could pass the House without Democratic support, it's likely to face more trouble in the Senate.House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of MI, however, said he remains confident it can pass through Congress before they break.

"I don't ever remember in all the time I have had the privilege of serving in the Senate a seven week recess before and I think that's excessive". The $1.1 billion in funding also is less than what Obama wants, according to reports.

"When faced with this significant emergency, Republicans have not acted on the specific request that our public health professionals have made for funding", he said". "This bill falls far short of that". And while Republicans in Congress say that the administration hasn't even used the money they have already reallocated, Frieden explained that the money has begun going out and must work its way through the federal steps. "So at the end of the day, this bill does not provide adequate funding".

In response to the Orlando attack, GOP leaders plan to bring a legislative package to the floor that is broadly meant to combat terrorism that will include measures intended to disrupt radicalization and recruitment efforts by groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

"We are doing this at the expense of other good investments", she said.

"If (funding) were the only issue, we'd be having a different conversation", Baldwin said. I expect Congress to get this funding done before they leave for vacation, before they adjourn.

President Barack Obama asked the Republican-controlled Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency funding to fight Zika more than four months ago.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., the author of the gun control provision, saidthere were a lot of productive conversations Wednesday among Republicans about ways the bill could be improved. Senate Democrats blocked the legislation that contains that provision last week. But GOP members appear dug in over the birth control and Confederate flag issues, and the White House remains dug in on its funding level.

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