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by Allen J. Sheinman | September 07, 2016

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate once again failed to pass a bill authorizing federal funds to fight the Zika virus. Convening after a seven-week summer recess, each side of the aisle blamed the other for not proceeding on a bill that had been worked on before the hiatus. 

The Democrat side claimed Republican-added provisions -- one that would prevent funding for Planned Parenthood and one that would no longer ban the presence of Confederate flags at veterans' cemeteries -- made the bill unpalatable to them. 

For his part, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quoted by CNN as saying "It's hard to explain why" the Democrats would turn down the bill given the current spread of the disease. 

The measure likely will be taken up again as part of a last-minute attempt to keep the federal government funded, the mechanism for which expires on Sept. 30.