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As Senate Advances Bipartisan Deal to Combat the Zika Virus, Murray Calls on House Republicans to Act Quickly


Following pressure from Democrats, public health experts, governors, and families across the country, Senate Republicans agree to provide emergency funding to combat Zika


Murray urges House Republicans to put partisanship aside and pass the bipartisan Senate emergency funding package


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the Senate voted to advance a bipartisan deal to provide $1.1 billion in emergency funding to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus. The legislation is expected to pass with strong bipartisan support in a final vote and Murray is now calling on House Republicans to move quickly to approve the Senate’s bipartisan bill.


“Women and families are looking to Congress to fight back against the Zika virus, so I’m glad that the Senate has finally taken action to get a bipartisan down payment on the President’s emergency funding proposal into the hands of first responders and researchers as soon as possible. It’s now the House’s turn to act, and we are sending a very clear message to the House Republicans: when it comes to public health emergencies like Zika, robbing Peter to pay Paul just isn’t enough. I urge House Republicans to drop their irresponsible, partisan legislation and ensure the Senate bill gets to the President’s desk without delay. Families and communities across the country don’t have time to wait, and Congress shouldn’t either.”


The bipartisan $1.1 billion Senate agreement provides a down payment on the Administration’s $1.9 billion emergency supplemental proposal, which was released in February, and would provide direct investments for the Zika response in Puerto Rico, ramp up prevention and support services for pregnant women, invest in foreign aid for Latin America and the Caribbean, help accelerate development of a vaccine, and backfill nearly $100 million in funding the Administration was forced to reprogram from other public health needs including Ebola. The House Republican proposal takes funding from the ongoing response to Ebola and provides less than a third of the President’s emergency supplemental. It does not include funding for preventive health care, outreach, or family planning services.