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Mon Sep 19, 2016, 08:44 PM

Congress Struggles to Finish Zika Aid, Prevent Shutdown

Source: Associated Press

Congress Struggles to Finish Zika Aid, Prevent Shutdown

By ANDREW TAYLOR, ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON Sep 19, 2016, 8:12 PM ET

Congressional negotiators on Monday pressed to wrap up a must-do spending bill to prevent an election-season government shutdown and finally provide money to battle the Zika virus, but numerous sticking points remain and top Senate leaders again postponed a planned procedural vote.

The stopgap measure would keep the government running past the end of the budget year this month. It's the only measure that has to pass before Congress adjourns for Election Day. As such, the talks have been tricky, with Republicans controlling Congress battling Democrats and the Obama administration.

A controversy involving whether Planned Parenthood should be eligible for anti-Zika funding in Puerto Rico which sparked a Democratic blockade of an earlier measure was defused with little fanfare last week. Senate Republicans, who have taken the lead in the talks, have relented and would make affiliates of Planned Parenthood eligible for funds to fight the virus in Puerto Rico.

But unrelated controversies over pesticide regulations, spending cuts and limitations on how many hours long-haul truckers can drive remain unresolved. A request by Democrats to add money to help the city of Flint, Michigan, fix its lead-tainted water system is being opposed by Republicans who want it to advance on a separate water projects measure.

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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/congress-works-finish-zika-aid-prevent-shutdown-42189422

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