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Washington, D.C. – In a Senate floor speech today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged his colleagues to find a way forward in appropriating funds to combat the Zika virus before Congress goes into summer recess.

“My hope is that in the days to come, we will find an understanding that allows us to move forward,” said Rubio. “And I'm not just talking to the Senate; I'm also talking to the House. Let's just appropriate money and move forward and deal with this issue appropriately with the urgency that it deserves, or everyone is going to have to answer to their constituents why this public health crisis blossomed and bloomed and we did nothing about it.

“I truly hope that in the hours and days leading up to our recess, we will find a rapid and quick way forward so we can address this and fix it and give our people the help they need in the short term and ultimately move towards the money we need to research for a vaccine so this issue can be prevented -- so this disease can be prevented from spreading in the future,” Rubio concluded.

A transcript of Rubio’s full remarks is available below. A video is available here, and a broadcast quality video is available for download here.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Senate Floor Speech
July 7, 2016
https://youtu.be/eYx7HUE8iQM

Senator Marco Rubio: “Congress is a week away from recessing before the conventions. We have yet to appropriate significant funds to fight Zika. At this point, quite frankly, I don't care whose fault it is anymore - Republicans, Democrats, this whole partisan stuff that is going on around this issue. It's inexcusable.

“We, every single day now, have massive numbers of Zika cases being reported. In my home state, every day, new records are being set. Just today a new case was found in a county that hadn't had a case yet. Forty-five out of fifty states in this country now have a Zika case. We have yet to see a local transmission, but it is coming.

“I don't know for the life of me how anyone in this chamber can go back home a week from now and say, ‘We're going to be on recess for six weeks in the peak of the summer, in the peak of mosquito season, in the peak of travel season and we have appropriated nothing to deal with the Zika virus.’

“This makes absolutely no sense to me. Do you want to know why Congress' approval rating is at one, two or three percent, if that? Because on an issue of public health, we cannot even find a way forward.

“My hope is that in the days to come, we will find an understanding that allows us to move forward. And I'm not just talking to the Senate; I'm also talking to the House. Let's just appropriate money and move forward and deal with this issue appropriately with the urgency that it deserves, or everyone is going to have to answer to their constituents why this public health crisis blossomed and bloomed and we did nothing about it.

“I truly hope that in the hours and days leading up to our recess, we will find a rapid and quick way forward so we can address this and fix it and give our people the help they need in the short term and ultimately move towards the money we need to research for a vaccine so this issue can be prevented -- so this disease can be prevented from spreading in the future.”