Senator Roy Blunt is at home in Missouri for recess, and he’s not letting anything get in the way of his vacation time. Before leaving for recess. the Senate GOP majority again refused to do their job and pass a funding bill to fight the spread of the Zika virus. With nearly a dozen cases of the Zika virus confirmed to be contracted in the United States, and a CDC travel advisory in Southern Florida, the crisis is only growing.
But yesterday when Blunt was asked about returning to D.C. for a special session to pass a funding bill, he made clear that recess takes priority over fighting the spread of a global health crisis. Read more below:
In the midst of a cross-state bus tour seeking re-election, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt says he hasn’t forgotten the Zika crisis, but he’s against going back to Washington for a Zika special session.
Blunt, a Republican, was asked to respond to Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who wants the House and Senate to return to D.C. right away to pass a $1.9 billion emergency funding bill to fight the spread of the mosquito-borne virus.
“There’s no reason to have a special session,” Blunt said. “There’s over $350 million available right now to meet the need. If Sen. Schumer had wanted to pass a bill, there’s a bill that the House had already passed right before we left.”
Blunt is referring to a bill that would have used money already set aside to fight the Ebola virus, and re-program it to the Zika crisis.
“That’s clearly appropriate for them to re-program,” Blunt said.
But the plan fizzled before the House and Senate left for summer recess.
The Centers for Disease Control reports as of August 3 in the United States:
Locally acquired mosquito-borne cases… 6
Travel-associated cases… 1,118
Sexually-transmitted cases… 16
Travel associated cases in Missouri… 10
Travel associated cases in Illinois… 33
Published: Aug 9, 2016