Obama, Hill leaders meet ahead of federal funding deadline

Senator Fischer Frustrated with Inaction in Congress

Congressional leaders are considering attaching as much as $1.1 billion in Zika spending to the temporary spending bill.

The number of Zika cases in Florida is approaching 800, including 86 involving pregnant women. "The sense that people are not going to want to come to our attractive state any longer if they fell it threatens their health".

Republicans counter that blaming their party for running a do-nothing Senate is hypocritical, given repeated votes by Democrats to block legislation they dislike from moving to debate or to the floor for votes.

"You know it's disappointing they went on recess", said Scott.

"Just as we're about to reach a deal to pass a clean emergency Zika funding bill, the governor chooses to fly up here and stir things up politically", the senator said.

"Zika is now well established in the United States with cases of local transmission by mosquitoes being reported in multiple areas of Florida, as well as the USA territories", the senators wrote.

There were signs of progress on other fronts.

12 de septiembre de 2016, 09:40Washington, Sep 12 (Prensa Latina) US President Barack Obama will meet on Monday with Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress to discuss the legislative priorities before the lawmakers leave to attend to their election campaigns and that of their parties.

Foremost on the agenda, officials said, is averting a federal partial government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year September 30.

After the meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan said it had gone well.

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Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican, sounded a little more optimistic an agreement would be struck soon but said the closed-door negotiations - especially regarding Planned Parenthood funding in the Zika bill - are at a sensitive point.

Don Stewart, deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Republican Congress "has been able to reverse years of Democrat inertia, despite repeated Democratic filibusters".

Louisiana's GOP-dominated congressional delegation sent Obama a letter Monday urging him to submit a disaster aid request so that Congress can act on it this year, though it fell short of indicating that the funding should be added specifically to the stopgap spending bill.

As I've told members in both the House and the Senate, Zika is not a game.

Republicans proposed a $1.1 billion bill, and it got through the House, but senate Democrats blocked it, saying there were strings attached, like restrictions on funding for Planned Parenthood.

Already, 18 babies have been born with Zika-related birth defects in the United States, said Beth Bell, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Infection during pregnancy can result in certain birth defects and there is now no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

His comments contrasted sharply with remarks from Democratic and Republican Florida lawmakers, including Nelson, who spoke of a bipartisan Zika effort during a news conference earlier Tuesday.

The virus, which has ravaged Brazil and Puerto Rico, is carried mainly by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito but can also be transmitted via sexual intercourse with an infected person.

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