News Releases

Bipartisan deal passes Senate—moves to House of Representatives

Sen. Murray worked with Republicans to remove language in spending bill blocking Planned Parenthood health care providers from accessing critical funding

Spending bill returns to strong investment of $1.1 billion in emergency funds to combat Zika, along the lines of the bipartisan deal negotiated and passed by Sen. Murray and Republicans back in May 

Sen. Murray: “I am very glad that we were finally able to pass a robust bipartisan Zika response that actually protects the women and families who need it most”  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, praised passage of the bipartisan Senate spending bill that includes $1.1 billion in emergency funds to combat the Zika virus. Senator Murray, who was part of the Conference Committee and LHHS Subcommittee that crafted pieces of the final agreement, successfully fought for the removal of language that would have specifically blocked Planned Parenthood health care providers from accessing critical funding.  

“It took far too long—but I am very glad that we were finally able to pass a robust bipartisan Zika response that actually protects the women and families who need it most,” Senator Murray said. “Women’s health should never be treated like a political football, so I am glad that Republicans finally agreed to set aside the extreme provisions that would have specifically blocked Planned Parenthood health care providers from accessing critical funding. I am hopeful the House will now move quickly to pass this bill so the Administration can provide critically-needed resources to impacted areas across the country.”

For over seven months, Senator Murray and Senate Democrats have called for a comprehensive response, including family planning services, to the Zika virus and made clear that protecting families and communities from this public health emergency should not be a partisan issue. Back in May, Senator Murray broke through the gridlock and dysfunction on this issue and worked across the aisle with Republicans on bipartisan Zika legislation, which passed the Senate overwhelmingly. Congressional Republicans later attached harmful riders restricting women’s access to care in a partisan Zika proposal before leaving for a seven-week recess.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 3,358 cases of Zika virus in U.S. states and 19,777 confirmed cases in the U.S. territories. There have been 41 reported cases of Zika virus in Washington state.

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