News Releases

After months of inaction, Senate Republicans agree to provide emergency funding to fight Zika 

With bipartisan agreement expected to pass in final vote, Murray now calls on House Republicans to put partisanship aside and pass emergency funding package

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after the Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance her bipartisan agreement, negotiated with Republican Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) to provide $1.1 billion in emergency funding to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus. Senator Murray, who has led negotiations for Senate Democrats to break through the gridlock on Zika and find a path forward, is now calling on House Republicans to move quickly to approve the Senate’s bipartisan bill pending a final vote.

“Women and families are looking to Congress to fight back against the Zika virus, so I’m glad that the Senate has finally taken action to get a bipartisan down payment on the President’s emergency funding proposal into the hands of first responders and researchers as soon as possible. It’s now the House’s turn to act, and we are sending a very clear message to the House Republicans: it’s time for them to drop their irresponsible, partisan legislation and ensure the Senate bill gets to the President’s desk without delay. Families and communities in Washington state and across the country don’t have time to wait, and Congress shouldn’t either.”

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.

Selected news coverage:

The Columbian: “Sen. Murray helped lead the way in forging a path for a robust response to the Zika virus, and fellow senators would be wise to follow her. The threat, indeed, is not theoretical, and it calls for action rather than rhetoric in the halls of Congress.” LINK

Seattle Times: Credit U.S. Sens. Murray, D-Wash., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., with negotiating a deal to provide emergency funding.” LINK

Olympian: Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri deserve credit for their bipartisan spending agreement last week to start limiting the looming health threat posed by the mosquito-borne Zika virus.” LINK

Huffington Post: “Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who brokered the emergency provision that ultimately passed in a 68-29 procedural vote with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), called the money a “downpayment” on the president’s original proposal.” LINK

Washington Post: The Senate compromise option, sponsored by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), is expected to get widespread support from Democrats and Republicans…” LINK

New York Times: Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, reached the $1.1 billion compromise proposal in negotiations with Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington. By contrast, House Republicans bought forward a partisan initiative that drew immediate condemnation…” LINK