Warner, Kaine call for emergency Zika funding

U.S. Senators Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and 40 of their colleagues wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran calling for immediate passage of President Obama’s emergency supplemental funding request of $1.9 billion for prevention and treatment of the Zika Virus outbreak.

Specifically, the new letter calls for the Senate Appropriations Committee to mark-up the President’s emergency funding request as soon as possible to ensure swift passage by the full Senate and House.

For more than two months, Congressional Republicans have failed to respond to the Administration’s request, even though more than 800 Americans in 40 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. Territories, including 89 pregnant women, have already been infected by the virus. The Virginia Department of Health announced last week that 11 cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the Commonwealth. This renewed push by Senate Democrats comes on the heels of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) confirmation of the link between Zika infection during pregnancy and severe birth defects like microcephaly.

Joining Warner and Kaine are U.S. Senators Dick Durbin, Charles E. Schumer, Patty Murray, Barbara Mikulski, Edward J. Markey, Jack Reed, Michael Bennet, Tom Udall, Mazie K. Hirono, Tammy Baldwin, Maria Cantwell, Sheldon Whitehouse, Gary Peters, Debbie Stabenow, Brian Schatz, Jeanne Shaheen, Bob Casey, Tom Carper, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Martin Heinrich, Bernie Sanders, Bill Nelson, Ron Wyden, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chris Coons, Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Richard Blumenthal, Jeff Merkley, Robert Menendez, Chris Murphy, Jon Tester, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Angus King, Barbara Boxer and Claire McCaskill.



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