After a long summer vacation, the GOP-controlled Senate marked its return to Washington by failing to provide responsible legislation that would fund the fight against the deadly Zika virus.
Instead of doing the right thing and putting forward a clean bill to combat this serious problem, Republicans offered legislation that took aim at Planned Parenthood funding, ended pesticide regulation, and would have allowed the Confederate Flag to be flown at military cemeteries.
It was shameless political gamesmanship at its finest.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren slammed Senate Republicans as “selfish” in a tweet on Tuesday night:
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 6, 2016
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid also chimed in, saying, “Republicans were more interested in attacking Planned Parenthood and flying the confederate flag … than protecting women and babies from this awful virus.”
According to TIME, the GOP measure “bars Planned Parenthood clinics in Zika-suffering Puerto Rico from receiving new money to treat the disease and curb its spread.”
Even Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri admitted that this attack on Planned Parenthood was likely standing in the way of the critical funding.
“For this to get done, that language just may have to go away,” Blunt said.
Like usual, Republicans are playing politics to appeal to their extremist base instead of doing the right thing and passing a clean funding bill to combat this deadly virus.
For years the GOP has been waging a war on Planned Parenthood, even though the organization provides health services to millions of Americans every year. Now they are using a squabble over this vital funding to once again push this agenda.
While babies and pregnant women affected by this virus wait for Congress to act, Republicans continue to play political games.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.