With Democrat Cooperation, Senate Can Pass Anti-Zika Efforts and Funding for Troops
‘Democrats now say they’ll only accept a Zika bill if it limits health care funding in the territories that need it most, drops critical funding for our veterans, and even restricts the ability to kill mosquitos... It’s time for [Senate Democrats] to start worrying less about pleasing outside political groups and start worrying more about actually helping the Americans who are counting on us.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today encouraging Senate Democrats to stop blocking the compromise conference report for anti-Zika efforts and support for our veterans:
“It’s hard to understand why Democrats continue to filibuster the funding needed to fight Zika. We’ve already shown the reality behind various claims and half-truths about the compromise anti-Zika conference report.
“The idea that it would underfund Zika. The idea that it would prohibit funding or deny access for birth control. The idea that it would actually weaken clean water protections.
The idea that its offsets don’t have any bipartisan support. The idea that it would cut funding for veterans. We’ve shown how these claims just don’t stand up to scrutiny.
“Despite all this, Democrats now say they’ll only accept a Zika bill if it limits health care funding in the territories that need it most, drops critical funding for our veterans, and even restricts the ability to kill mosquitos. The Democratic Leader warns that these mosquitos are ‘vicious,’ ‘awful,’ and ‘ravaging’ — he’s just not all that interested in killing them.
“I would like to echo the words of the Senior Senator from Texas, who said that our Democratic colleagues seem to be operating in a ‘logic-free zone’ when it comes to Zika. It’s time to get back to reality. This is a serious crisis that demands serious solutions. It’s time for our friends to start worrying less about pleasing outside political groups and start worrying more about actually helping the Americans who are counting on us.
“We have a conference report before us that contains the exact level of funding to fight Zika that Democrats already agreed to, $1.1 billion. It includes more health care funding than the bill that passed the Senate. It does not prohibit funding or deny access for birth control. It contains bipartisan offsets that move money from lower priorities to higher priorities. It contains temporary but meaningful reforms that actually allow us to fight mosquitos in an effective way. It also honors our veterans with record levels of funding.
“This compromise conference report offers the only way to get this done now. We can pass it today. I’m urging our colleagues to please look within themselves and make the right decision.
“Otherwise, what will they say to pregnant mothers this summer? Otherwise, what will they say to our veterans?
“I hope our friends think about what they’ll say to our active-duty troops as well.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Zika Virus, Appropriations