Hillary Clinton is pushing Congress to cut its August recess short and reconvene in order to pass funding to combat the Zika virus, injecting a new dose of presidential politics into the legislative fight that’s put Capitol Hill on defense during much of the summer session.
Clinton is slated to make the demand in an appearance Tuesday afternoon at the Borinquen Health Care Center in the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami, the epicenter of Florida’ Zika outbreak, according to a campaign aide. Accompanied by medical professionals and the GOP mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, Clinton will also emphasize the importance of Congress in passing funding to battle the virus, the aide said.
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The severity of Zika in the United States has escalated in recent weeks, with the first local transmission of the virus in Florida and an unusual warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising pregnant women and their partners against traveling to the Wynwood neighborhood.
Senate Democrats have twice filibustered a $1.1 billion Zika measure attached to a broader bill that funds military construction and veterans projects. Their objection centers around a provision in the Zika measure — negotiated primarily by House and Senate Republicans — restricting funding for Planned Parenthood.
President Barack Obama has said he would veto the measure with the Planned Parenthood restrictions. But top Republicans have not relented either, and have increasingly put more pressure on Democrats to back off their blockade of the Zika measure, which has already passed the House.
“We would love for Sen. Kaine and others to end that filibuster and pass the bill, but it doesn’t sound like they’re prepared to do that,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), referring to …