Senate Dems block Zika bill on first day back

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON, DC (WCMH/AP) — Congress returned to work after a long summer break and immediately started fighting about legislation.

In the Senate’s first vote on Tuesday, Democrats blocked a $1.1 billion bill designed to help fight Zika. Democrats opposed the bill because it banned Planned Parenthood clinics in areas experiencing Zika outbreaks from receiving money to treat the virus and stop its spread. The bill also lessened permit requirements for pesticide spraying in order to kill the mosquitoes that carry Zika.

The vote needed 60 votes to pass. It failed 52 to 46.

“I do believe we’ll find some kind of resolution,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said. Congress is under increasing pressure to pass funding to help fight the disease.

In Franklin County, there have been a total of 6 confirmed Zika cases, according to Columbus Public Health. There are still 24 pending cases. The disease is linked to severe microcephaly, a serious birth defect where a baby’s head is much smaller than other babies’ heads of the same age, which can cause developmental delays, physical impairments and seizures among other medical conditions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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