(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, announced she had reached a deal with Republican Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to provide $1.1 billion in emergency funding for efforts to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus. According to the CDC, there are more than 1,200 cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. and the three territories, including three reported cases in Washington state. Murray’s bipartisan deal with Blunt is expected to receive a vote in the Senate next week. The Senate will also be voting on the President’s full request, which Republicans have vowed to block, as well as a partisan Republican amendment that is not expected to pass. If Murray’s compromise bill passes the Senate, it would then head to the House for consideration.
“I am very glad that Chairman Blunt and I have been able to work together on an emergency funding bill to quickly respond to the Zika threat. I continue to urge my colleagues to support the President’s full request, but I am very encouraged that Democrats and Republicans will be able to come together with a strong step forward to help ensure families in Washington state and across the country are prepared to respond to this emergency.”
Senator Murray has strongly supported the Obama Administration’s request for $1.9 billion in emergency financing to combat the Zika virus. Senator Murray, who has led negotiations for Senate Democrats to break through the gridlock to find a path forward, has been working with Sen. Blunt and today, the Senators announced an agreement that would be included in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations bill being considered on the Senate floor next week.