Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged Senate leadership to immediately proceed to an official conference with the U.S. House of Representatives where they can reconcile differences for funding to combat the Zika virus and send a bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rubio expressed his grave concerns regarding Zika and asked that the conferees keep in mind the countless Floridians, Puerto Ricans, and unborn children who are likely to be impacted by the virus.

“As you know, there are already 122 confirmed cases of travel-related Zika virus in Florida, and 36 cases of pregnant women who are suspected to have Zika,” Rubio said in the letter. “The continental U.S. has seen 544 reported cases of travel-related Zika, while the U.S. territories have reported 832 locally-acquired cases of Zika. Providing funds to fight this virus is paramount to protecting the health of Floridians who, along with Puerto Ricans, should have their voices strongly represented in this debate.

“I am thankful the Senate has passed legislation to address this crisis facing Americans, and it is my hope that the Senate and House can proceed to an official conference immediately in order to quickly send a bill to the President’s desk,” Rubio continued. “It is my hope that the conferees will keep in mind the countless Floridians, Puerto Ricans, and unborn children who are likely to be impacted by Zika.”

A PDF of the letter is available here and the full text is below:

Senator Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
S-230
United States Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Leader McConnell:

I write to you today to respectfully request the U.S. Senate immediately proceed to an official conference with the U.S. House of Representatives to reconcile differences in each chamber’s bills that have been passed to fund the fight against Zika virus.

As you know, there are already 122 confirmed cases of travel-related Zika virus in Florida, and 36 cases of pregnant women who are suspected to have Zika. The continental U.S. has seen 544 reported cases of travel-related Zika, while the U.S. territories have reported 832 locally-acquired cases of Zika. Providing funds to fight this virus is paramount to protecting the health of Floridians who, along with Puerto Ricans, should have their voices strongly represented in this debate.

I am thankful the Senate has passed legislation to address this crisis facing Americans, and it is my hope that the Senate and House can proceed to an official conference immediately in order to quickly send a bill to the President’s desk. It is my hope that the conferees will keep in mind the countless Floridians, Puerto Ricans, and unborn children who are likely to be impacted by Zika.

Time is of the essence in the fight against Zika, as the warm summer months that bring more mosquitoes are just around the corner. We must provide this funding to address the virus on the front end, before we are riddled with the consequences of not acting soon enough on the back end. There are countless precious unborn lives that are at risk of developing devastating birth defects that could be prevented by providing the necessary resources to combat Zika.

Thank you for your consideration of my request. I am confident together we can prevent the Zika virus from having a detrimental impact on our country.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
United States Senator