Senate Democrats block measure to battle Zika virus

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have for the third time blocked a Republican measure to battle the Zika virus. The vote could prompt GOP leaders to try to attach money to battle Zika to a must-do temporary spending bill that is the top priority for an abbreviated pre-election session of Congress.

The 52-46 tally felt short of the supermajority needed to overcome a filibuster and came as lawmakers returned to Washington for the first votes in seven weeks.

Democrats objected to language that would block Zika prevention and treatment money from going to Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico. Republicans countered that the objection was a flimsy excuse compared to the Zika threat.

Sen. John Cornyn said the next move might be to add the Zika money to the stopgap spending bill.