WASHINGTON — As Zika escalates into a public health crisis and the number of mosquito-transmitted cases grows, Republicans and Democrats are pointing fingers over the failure by Congress to commit federal dollars to fight the virus.
President Barack Obama on August 4 sought to pressure congressional Republicans over the issue, encouraging voters to “call your members of Congress and tell them to do their job.”
“The money that we need to fight Zika is rapidly running out. The situation is getting critical,” Obama said at a news conference.
Yet lawmakers left Washington in mid-July for a seven-week recess without approving any of the $1.9 billion that Obama requested in February to develop a vaccine and control the mosquitoes that carry the virus.
Abortion politics played a central role in the impasse.