WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans and Democrats clashed again Monday over funding levels for Zika research, the Flint, Michigan water crisis and combating opioid addiction — a fight that has blocked a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown on Friday.

The measure would fund the federal government through Dec. 9 at current levels.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the measure has been rewritten so that it “ keeps the government funded at the same level…it contains zero controversial items. It ensures victims of flooding and opioids aren’t forgotten.”

McConnell said aid for Flint should not be in the bill because it should be funded through the Water Resources Development Act.

“WRDA is not only the proper vehicle to help (Flint) now,” McConnell said. “But it is the proper vehicle to help in the future.”

But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said the bill doesn’t do enough to address pressing problems.

“We don’t oppose Zika (funding), we don’t oppose flooding victims, but we want more,” Reid said. “And for opioid we think it should be funded not with this pitterpat that doesn’t do anything. And we believe we should not leave Flint behind.”
Reid criticized the Republican leadership for scheduling a seven-week break when Flint needs federal aid to clean its water system, polluted from lead pipes.

“This (bill) does not give a single penny to Flint, Michigan,” Reid said. “Children are lead-poisoned already. Republicans’ go-to move is to claim they will do it at a later time, but in the meantime the people of Flint can take a drink out of a bottle of water and bathe in a bottle of water.”

Reid was also outraged that Republican leaders had added a provision that would prevent the Secutiries and Exchange Commission from telling corporations that they must disclose campaign contributions.

“If there were ever legislation that didn’t deserve to be in a resolution,” Reid said, “it would be that.”