HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A vote on funding money to fight the Zika virus is being held up by Republicans in the senate — and Democrats are furious.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal is among Democratic senators upset that Republicans in the majority are holding up the vote for Zika prevention funding, WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reported. Blumenthal says the senate must pass the $1.1 billion funding compromise, but he says he and other Demorcrats refuse to adopt the revised bill — which cuts funds for Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act.
“For our Republican members of the Senate to leave town for their political convention out in Cleveland without having acted on Zika, we’re going to hold them accountable,” Blumenthal said. There’s no conscionable excuse for it.”
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The senate is scheduled to adjourn next week and he says there’s no reason for the Republicans to have abandoned a bipartisan senate compromise that had been agreed upon by both Republicans and Democrats.
Twenty-two residents within the have tested positive so far for the Zika virus, The Connecticut Post reported. One pregnant woman living in the state was diagnosed earlier this year, after returning from a trip to the Caribbean.
Researchers fear that Zika causes microcephaly, a serious birth defect in which a baby’s head is too small, as well as posing other threats to infants of pregnant women infected with the virus.