GOP Tries To Use Zika Bill To Undo Cemetery Confederate Flag Ban

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June 28, 2016 12:30 p.m.

House Republican lawmakers sought to reverse previously passed legislation restricting the display of the Confederate flag in federal cemeteries by slipping a provision stripping the legislation into a larger appropriations bill that included Zika funding. The House bill passed last week on largely partisan lines, but was blocked in the Senate Tuesday by a Democratic filibuster.

The Confederate flag language was just one of a number controversial provisions included in the bill, which also included an amendment cutting Planned Parenthood funding and other swipes at the Obama administration’s public health initiatives.

Republican lawmakers are warning that the American public will now blame Democrats if Zika becomes a full-blown health crisis. But Democratic leaders suggested that filibustering Tuesday’s bill was an easy call — pointing to provisions like the Confederate flag reversal.

When a bipartisan House majority approved of the initial legislation restricting the display of Confederate flag on national cemeteries last month, the vote was hailed as a landmark moment for Republicans, who in the past have had to pull appropriation bills from the floor over Confederate flag controversies.

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