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Florida's Congressional Delegation Offers Bipartisan Welcome To Possible Zika Funding

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread Zika are native to Florida.
The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread Zika are native to Florida.

Could Capitol Hill be close to passing a Zika funding bill? A bipartisan group of Florida’s Congressional Delegation says the possibility is welcome news.

As soon as sometime this week, the Senate could vote on a bill that would help fund efforts to combat the Zika virus. It’s a mosquito-borne disease that can cause severe birth defects.

The Zika funding would only be a temporary fix, as it would be included in a budget measure to fund the government through December.

But Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio says it’s better than nothing.

"Throughout my time in the Senate, I have regularly opposed these short-term spending bills – because I don’t think funding government on a month-to-month basis is the smart way to run the government of the most powerful and important nation on earth," said Rubio. "But with Zika becoming a public health emergency the way it has, this is a necessary exception for me to make."

As for Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, he said the possible funding is great news, as the state nears 800 Zika cases.

“We should do it, and this wonderful news that I have heard that a deal is being struck is welcome, welcome news to this senator,” said Nelson.

A group of Florida’s Congressional Delegation in the House, which includes Republicans and Democrats, are also on board.

Florida Congressman David Jolly, a Republican, said he has a simple message for his colleagues. “The House needs to accept the clean Senate language that received bipartisan support in the Senate. We can do that here in the House as well."

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott also made a trip to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to talk about the importance of Zika funding. He talked to members of Congress along with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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