US Congress blocks Zika funding bill
Sept.7, Washington: The US Senate has failed to pass a funding bill to help fight the Zika virus for a third time. Senate Democrats blocked the $1.1bn (£820m) bill after Republicans sought to stop funding for pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood, reports said.
Lawmakers say they hope the issue will be resolved later this month as part of a bipartisan spending package.
The 52-46 Senate vote came as Florida health officials announced seven more locally transmitted cases of Zika. Florida has now reported 56 locally transmitted cases of Zika, which is often spread by mosquitoes.
State officials have called on lawmakers to release funds to help fight the spread of the disease, which is linked to severe birth defects in pregnant women.
The Republican-backed Senate bill included a provision that would have prevented Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico from receiving new funding to fight the spread of the virus, which can be sexually transmitted, BBC news reported.
The Oslo Times International News Network