April 28, 2016 10:33 AM

Cornyn objects to Reid Zika consent

Senator Reid asked unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar #157, H.R.3038; that all after the enacting clause be stricken; that the Nelson substitute amendment to enhance the Federal response and preparedness with respect to the Zika virus, which is at the desk, be agreed to; that there be up to 2 hours of debate, equally divided between the two Leaders or their designees; that upon the use or yielding back of time, the bill, as amended, be read a third time and the Senate vote on passage of the bill, as amended.

Senator Cornyn objected.

Unofficial transcript:

REID:  ZIKA VIRUS -- MY FRIEND TALKS ABOUT,

WELL, WE'RE TRYING TO GET INFORMATION. THAT IS RIDICULOUS.

RIDICULOUS. AND WE'LL HEAR MORE ABOUT THAT IN A FEW MINUTES. NO

DISTRICT COURT NOMINATIONS, NO HEARINGS ON THE SUPREME COURT.

SO THERE'S NO NEED TO GO OVER WHAT HASN'T BEEN DONE. IMAGINE,

THOUGH, MR. PRESIDENT, IF YOU WILL, THAT THIS GREAT COUNTRY IS

FACING A POTENTIAL OUTBREAK OF A DANGEROUS VIRUS. NOTHING THAT

WAS MADE UP IN THE MOVIES, NOTHING THAT IS SOME SPECIAL TV

SHOW. IT IS ACTUALLY A POTENTIAL OUTBREAK OF A DANGEROUS VIRUS.

IMAGINE MOSQUITOES ARE CARRYING A VIRUS THAT AFFECTS PREGNANT

WOMEN, A VIRUS THAT CAUSES BIRTH DEFECTS IN BABIES, NOT

ALLOWING THEIR BRAINS AND CONSULS TO DEVELOP. -- SCULS TO

DEVELOP. -- SKULLS TO DEVELOP. WE DON'T KNOW THE FULL EXTENT OF

THIS. WE HAD A BRIEFING DOWN HERE A WEEK AGO TODAY. THE CENTERS

FOR DISEASE CONTROL, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, WE HAD THE

SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES HERE. THEY ARE IN A

STATE OF EMERGENCY. THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING. THEY NEED TO

DEVELOP VACCINES. THIS IS ON ITS WAY. IT'S HERE. IT'S HERE IN

PUERTO RICO. WE HAVE CASES REPORTED IN -- AND MY FRIEND FROM

FLORIDA -- IN MY FRIEND FROM FLORIDA'S STATE, SOMEONE WHO I

SERVED WITH IN THE HOUSE AND SERVED HERE IN THE SENATE, REALLY

ONE OF OUR MOST OUTSTANDING MEMBERS, SENATOR NELSON OF FLORIDA.

THERE ARE CASES WE ALREADY KNOW OF IN FLORIDA. 30 STATES ARE

GOING TO BE AFFECTED WITH THIS -- THE MOSQUITOES, AS THE

WEATHER WARMS. I'VE BEEN TOLD THAT MOSQUITOES IN THE PAST HAVE

NEVER CAUSED BIRTH DEFECTS. THEY'VE CAUSED ALL KINDS OF

PROBLEMS WITH MALARIA AND OTHER THINGS. BUT NOT BIRTH DEFECTS.

NOW THEY'RE HERE. NOW IMAGINE, AFTER WHAT I'VE JUST LAID OUT TO

YOU, THAT THOSE IN CONTROL OF CONGRESS DO NOTHING TO ADDRESS

THE IMMINENT DANGER POSED BY THIS VIRUS. SOUNDS LIKE SOME

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL, DOESN'T IT?

BUT IT'S NOT. THIS IS REAL LIFE HERE IN AMERICA. THIS IS THE

REALITY OF THE REPUBLICANS' REFUSAL TO RESPOND TO ZIKA. MY

FRIEND, THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON BEING INVOLVED IN

TRYING TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING. SHE SAID YESTERDAY THAT SHE

HASN'T HEARD A WORD FROM THE REPUBLICANS ON THIS IMPORTANT

ISSUE. THIS IS REAL LIFE. IT IS A SCOURGE, ZIKA, THAT'S ALREADY

AFFECTED OUR COUNTRY. IT'S TIME WE PASSED AN EMERGENCY

APPROPRIATIONS BILL TO TAKE CARE OF IT, TO FIGHT IT. OUT OF

TRADITION, COMMON SENSE, AND PRECEDENT. PUBLIC HEALTH IS AN

EMERGENCY AND DEMANDS A RESPONSE. AS I'VE INDICATED, HUNDREDS

OF PEOPLE IN PUERTO RICO QUICKLY APPROACHING 1,000 ARE INFECTED

-- IN PUERTO RICO. AND AS THE WEATHER WARMS, IT'S GOING TO

MULTIPLY THROUGHOUT THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. 30 STATES

ARE GOING TO BE LIKELY AFFECTED WITH THIS MOSQUITO, KILLER

MOSQUITO. MORE THAN TWO MONTHS AGO, MY FRIEND SAID, WE NEED

MORE FROM THE ADMINISTRATION. MORE THAN TWO MONTHS AGO THE

ADMINISTRATION DESPERATELY AS -- DESPERATE AS THEY WERE, SENT A

LETTER TO THE CONGRESS SAYING, WE NEED AN EMERGENCY REQUEST OF

$1.9 BILLION. OUT OF DESPERATION, WHAT DID THE WHITE HOUSE DO?

TWO YEARS AGO WE WERE FIGHTING EBOLA, STILL A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM

AND A PROBLEM FROM OUR COUNTRY. THEY HAD TO TAKE MONEY THAT

THEY WERE WORKING ON VACCINES, NOW WE HAVE A SITUATION WHERE

BOTH MOSQUITO-CAUSING ZIKA, THE EBOLA SCOURGE -- BOTH OF THEM

ARE UNDERFUNDED NOW. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE DONE A DOUBLE WHAMMY

HERE. WE NEED TO GIVE THE MONEY BACK TO THE AGENCIES THAT ARE

DOING SOMETHING TO HELP US ON EBOLA AND FUND ZIKA. THEY HAVEN'T

LIFTED A FINGER THAT WE'RE AWARE OF, AS IS SAID YESTERDAY. THE

DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON HASN'T HEARD FROM THE

SO-CALLED NEGOTIATORS IN MORE THAN A WEEK. EVEN AS THE CENTERS

FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH ARE

PLEADING FOR US TO ACT, THEY'VE BEEN VERY CLEAR ABOUT THE

FUNDING NEED TO FIGHT XI KAVMENT THEY'VE -- TO FIGHT ZIKA.

THEY'VE TOLD US, WE NEED MORE FROM THE ADMINISTRATION. IT

WASN'T ALL THAT LONG AGO THAT MY FRIEND, THE REPUBLICAN LEADER,

WAS SINGING A MUCH DIFFERENT SONG. HERE'S WHAT HE SAID ABOUT

FUNDING THE OUTBREAK OF EBOLA TWO YEARS AGO. THIS IS A DIRECT

QUOTE. "I THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE ANYTHING THEY WANT, WHATEVER

THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION THINK THEY NEED,

THEY'LL -- WE'LL GIVE IT TO THEM." CLOSE QUOTE. HE SAID THE

SAME THING SEVEN YEARS AGO WHEN WE WERE FACED WITH ANOTHER REAL

PROBLEM -- THE SWINGE FLU. HERE'S WHAT HE SAID THEN. "IF THE

ADMINISTRATION NEEDS ANYTHING ADDITIONALLY FROM THE CONGRESS, I

KNOW WE'LL BE HAPPY TO PROVIDE IT ON A TOTALLY BIPARTISAN

BASIS." CLOSE QUOTE. FAST-FORWARD SEVEN YEARS AND THE

REPUBLICANS NOW IN THE MAJORITY WON'T PROVIDE THE REQUESTED

FUNDING FOR ZIKA. WHY?

WE KNOW WHY. THEY CAN'T GET THROUGH OVER HERE. THEY CAN'T GET

IT DONE. THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND THE NATIONAL

INSTITUTES OF HEALTH KNOW WHAT THEY NEED. THEY'VE TOLD US.

THEY'VE TOLD ANYONE THAT WILL LISTEN. SO WHY CAN'T THE

REPUBLICANS GIVE IT TO THEM?

THEY CAN'T -- IF THEY WON'T GIVE THE EXPERTS THEY NEED TO

COMBAT ZIKA, WHAT DO THEY PROPOSE?

WE COULD ASK THE ZIKA MOSQUITOES CARRYING -- THE ZIKA-CARRYING

MOSQUITOES. WE COULD ASK THEM, DON'T BREED THIS YEAR. REMEMBER,

ANYWAY, IT IS THE LAST TERM OF A TWO-TERM PRESIDENT. MAYBE WE

SHOULDN'T DO IT THIS YEAR. THE SENATE SHOULD NOT LEAVE TODAY

WITHOUT ADDRESSING THIS SERIOUS ISSUE. WE SHOULDN'T BE TAKING

TEN DAYS OFF AS A DANGEROUS VIRUS THREATENS THIS NATION. AND IT

IS THREATENING US. THE REPUBLICANS SHOULD DO THEIR JOBS AND

PASS A $1.9 MILLION EMERGENCY SPENDING BILL TO HELP PROTECT

AMERICANS FROM THE ZIKA VIRUS. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, BASED ON THAT

-- AND I WANT --

  1. NELSON: WILL THE SENATOR YIELD BEFORE HE MAKES THE REQUEST
  1. REID: YES, I WILL BE HAPPY TO DO THAT. I WANT THE RECORD TO
BE SPREAD WITH THE FACT THAT THIS GOOD MANAGE, RECOGNIZING MORE

THAN ANY OTHER SENATOR, BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS -- IS FACING AND

WILL FACE IN THE VERY HOT, HUMID, SOMETIMES TROPIC STATE OF

FLORIDA, HE RECOGNIZED THIS A LONG TIME AGO, AND I ADMIRE HIS

BEING THE HEAD OF THIS ISSUE. HE'S BEEN OUT THERE IN FRONT AND

SOME OF US HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CATCH UP WITH HIM. YES, I WILL

BE HAPPY TO YIELD.

  1. NELSON: MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK THE SENATOR FROM YIELDING. I
JUST WANT TO ADD TO HIS COMMENTS FROM THIS SENATOR'S PERSONAL

PERSPECTIVE. THE STATE OF FLORIDA PRESENTLY HAS 94 INFECTED

CASES THAT WE KNOW OF, INCLUDING FIVE PREGNANT WOMEN THAT WE

KNOW OF. WE ALSO HAVE A VERY MOBILE AND SIZABLE POPULATION OF

PUERTO RICANS. GO TO THAT ISLAND AND LO AND BEHOLD, IT IS

ESTIMATED THAT 20% OF THE POPULATION IS INFECTED. AND UPWARDS

OF CLOSE TO 100 CASES -- MULTIPLE HUNDREDS THAT WE KNOW OF ON

THE NUMBER -- THE ACTUAL NUMBER, I THINK, IS IN THE 80'S OF

PREGNANT WOMEN THAT WE KNOW OF THAT ARE INFECTED. NOW, AS THE

MAJORITY -- AS THE LEADER HAS ALREADY DESCRIBED, THIS HAS

HORRENDOUS CONSEQUENCES, NOT ONLY TO THE FAMILIES BUT THE COST

TO SOCIETY BECAUSE OF THE DEFORMED BABIES THAT RESULT -- AND

NOT NECESSARILY AT BIRTH. THESE DEFECTS MAY COME YEARS LATER,

BUT THAT IS A HUGE COST TO SOCIETY, NOT EVEN TO SPEAK OF THE

HUMAN TRAGEDY. AND SO IS IT ANY WONDER THAT I JOIN WITH THE

MINORITY LEADER IN BEGGING FOR THIS EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS OF $1.9 BILLION?

  1. REID: THE RECORD SHOULD REFLECT THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO
ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE

PROCEED TO CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 157, H.R. 3038,

THAT ALL AFTER THE ENACTING CLAUSE BE STRICKEN, A THAT THE

NELSON SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT TO ENHANCE THE FEDERAL RESPONSE ON

PREPAREDNESS RRP TO ZIKA, WHICH IS AT THE DESK BEING BE AGREED

TO, THAT THERE BE UP

DESIGNEES, ATHAT UPON THE USE OR YEELT YIELDING BACK OF TIME,

THE BILL BE READ A THIRD TIME AND THE SENATE VOTE ON THE

MEASURE, WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE.