May 19, 2016
WASHINGTON – An amendment written by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (Wash.) to combat the Zika virus passed the Senate today.
“This amendment will responsibly focus on the prevention, control, and treatment of the Zika virus,” said Blunt. “The Zika virus is a public health emergency, and I’m disappointed that the administration attempted to use this situation to push Congress to fund non-emergency items when the focus should be on combating the Zika virus. I’m pleased this measure passed the Senate, and I look forward to working with the House to put a bill on the president’s desk that will help protect Americans.”
The Senate passed the Blunt/Murray amendment by a vote of 68-30. The measure provides $1.1 billion in emergency funding for priority initiatives focused on prevention, control, and treatment of the Zika virus. It does not include funding for nonessential projects in the president’s original request, such as $85 million to expand existing federal buildings that wouldn’t be completed for years. These funds are in addition to the nearly $600 million in existing funding previously utilized by the administration to begin an immediate response to the Zika threat. There are currently over 650 confirmed Zika cases in U.S. territories, mostly in Puerto Rico, and over 500 travel-associated cases in the continental United States.
Senator Blunt previously spoke on the Senate floor to discuss his efforts in the fight against the Zika virus.
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