(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on ongoing negotiations with Senate Republicans to reach agreement on emergency funding to combat the Zika virus. Following the news yesterday that Republicans were now interested in working with Democrats to reach an agreement on this critical issue, Murray called on them to work‎ with her and others quickly to get this done.

 “There shouldn’t be any place for partisanship or politics when it comes to protecting families and communities from serious public health risks—so I’m very glad that Republicans are now working with us to pass an emergency funding proposal that would support critical steps to combat the Zika virus, while also restoring some funding to the ongoing Ebola response. Families in Washington state and across the country are looking to Congress to put much-needed resources into preventing and treating Zika, and I hope Republicans will continue working with us to get this done as soon as possible.”

For months Democrats have called for a comprehensive response to the Zika virus and made clear that protecting families and communities from this growing public health threat should not be a partisan issue. Meanwhile, Republicans refused to take action in the face of growing clarity about the risks Zika poses to women and children, even declaring victory after forcing the Administration to redirect Ebola funds to respond to the Zika virus. This week, in a reversal, Senate Republicans agreed to work with Murray and Senate Democrats to pass an emergency supplemental funding package to help prevent the spread of the virus and develop a vaccine.