Concerns about the Zika virus are growing throughout the country. Pregnant women are taking unusual precautions, travel warnings are being issued for Florida, and public panic is on the rise in any state with mosquitoes.
Prominent Florida Democrats, such as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Alan Grayson, are giving speeches and hosting town halls dedicated to reassuring voters that they are working on solutions. Even national Democratic figures, like New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine, are calling for an emergency session of Congress to allocate funds for the fight against Zika.
But can we be honest for a second? These politicians are not actually interested in addressing Zika as a public health crisis. Instead, they are just treating it as another campaign issue to try to attack conservatives.
House Republicans tried addressing Zika back in June. Then, when they were contending with the House Democrat’s gun control sit-in stunt, Republicans passed a compromise bill that ought to have secured support from Democrats — were they not busy pouting on the floor of the chamber.
Kaine said at a rally in Florida that “Congress should not be in recess while Zika is advancing.” But where was this attitude when do-nothing Democrats were sitting around whining instead of working?
Alabama Congresswoman Martha Roby wrote an op-ed for CNBC, detailing how Senate Democrats obstructed these middle-of-the-road compromise measures from getting to the President’s desk.
“In June I relayed the good news that the House had passed appropriations legislation providing funding for our nation’s response to the Zika virus,” Roby wrote. “Sadly, two months later, that compromise funding bill has yet to become law. Why? Senate Democrats led by Minority Leader Harry Reid have twice blocked the legislation by denying the majority the 60 votes needed to allow a vote on the bill.”
Ultimately, Senate Democrats blocked the bill because it did not serve their political priorities. They were upset because the bill, in an effort to be fiscally responsible, redirected funds from Obamacare to Zika-control measures.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the House’s bill undermined ones of the Democrats’ top ideological priorities: federally-funding abortion provider Planned Parenthood at any cost.
Democrats contend that any bills related to the response to the Zika emergency must specifically earmark funding for Planned Parenthood, even though they know full well that Republicans will support bills that send funding to alternative organizations.
Just to be very clear, not once, but twice, Congressional Democrats endangered and neglected public health by pulling political stunts and aimless protests. And now they have the gall to try to claim Zika response as one of their top priorities for the November election.
Kaine, Schumer, Grayson, Wasserman-Schultz, and other Democrats are being utterly ridiculous. They put their pro-abortion ideology in front of a reasonable response to what could possibly develop into one of the most terrifying public health crises in American history.
Democrats do not care about the common good. They just care about getting elected, no matter the cost – even human life.
Michael Lucchese works for the American Principles Project.