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Rubio Comments On Congress’ Failure To Combat The Zika Virus
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s failure today to approve emergency funding to combat the Zika virus:
“It’s unforgivable that Congress has failed to pass any kind of legislation this summer to deal with the Zika virus. Whether it was the president’s request, bipartisan proposals or this House-Senate compromise, I’ve supported every single effort to deal with Zika that has come up in the Senate, which is something few others in Congress can say. It’s really unfortunate people could not come together on this public health crisis that keeps growing every day. One way or another, we will be back here to deal with this problem, and we’ll be doing so under the worst circumstances that I’ve been warning about for months. Congress had a chance to get going on this problem before it really spirals out of control, and now it’s setting itself up to come back here and deal with this as an even bigger full-blown public health emergency than it is today.”
BACKGROUND: SINCE JANUARY, RUBIO HAS BEEN ENGAGED ON COMBATTING ZIKA & IS ONE OF A FEW IN CONGRESS WHO HAVE SUPPORTED EVERY SINGLE ZIKA FUNDING PROPOSAL
- On January 29, Rubio expressed safety concerns over the Zika virus and its impact on Florida, and asked that public health concerns be addressed.
- On April 8, Rubio became the first congressional Republican to announce his support for the administration’s $1.9 billion request to combat the virus at a press conference in Miami.
- Rubio has highlighted the threat of Zika and urged Congress to act quickly numerous times on the Senate floor:
- April 14: Rubio Highlights New Zika Developments, Urges Congress To Act Quickly
- April 26: Rubio Reiterates Need For Congress To Address Growing Zika Threat
- April 28: Rubio Urges Congress To Put Politics Aside On Zika
- May 11: Rubio: Inaction On Zika Virus Is Inexcusable
- May 12: Rubio Urges Congress To Support Nelson-Rubio Legislation To Fully Fund Zika Response
- May 17: Rubio Optimistic About Senate Action On Zika, But Urges House “Not To Play With Fire”
- May 24: Rubio: To Get A Serious Zika Bill On President’s Desk, The American People Need To Speak Out
- On May 5, Rubio published an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel about stopping the Zika virus before it becomes a crisis.
- On May 12, Senators Rubio and Nelson introduced the first bipartisan agreement to provide the full $1.9 billion the administration says it needs to curb the spread of the Zika virus.
- On May 26, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rubio 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.
- On June 3, Rubio and Congressman Carlos Curbelo held a joint press conference in Miami, Florida to urge their colleagues in Congress to pass funding for the Zika virus when they return to session.
- On June 9, Rubio urged Zika negotiators to push for full funding. He sent a letter to all 33 members of Congress appointed to the conference committee reconciling differences between proposals in the House and Senate.
- On June 15, Rubio questioned the CDC about its preparedness plan in the event of a locally transmitted Zika virus case in Florida during a Florida delegation hearing on Zika outbreak preparedness. He also asked the panel of Zika experts about diagnostic testing, necessary funding and the federal government’s role in aiding vaccine development for the virus.
- On June 28, Rubio commented after the U.S. Senate failed to advance funding to combat the Zika virus. Although Rubio voted for the funding, it failed to receive the 60 votes needed to advance.
- On July 13, Rubio chaired a subcommittee hearing to highlight Zika’s spread in the western hemisphere and the impact it is having on Florida and the U.S.