Warren, Rubio join forces on Zika funding
© Greg Nash

A House GOP proposal to provide $622 million to fight the Zika virus is coming under fire on the left from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE (D-Mass.), and the right from Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges Hillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE (R-Fla.).

Warren ripped the House proposal for not allocating enough resources to Zika and for taking the money from President Obama's initiative against the Ebola virus instead of approving new funds.


“As congressional Republicans embrace this irrational anti-spending ideology, this country is put in greater and greater danger,” she said. 

Rubio, a former presidential candidate, said separately that he was “really concerned about the direction of the House funding proposal.”

“Quite frankly, that's just not going to cut it,” he added. “I believe the House can and should do better than what it’s proposed.”

Senators are expected to take three procedural votes later on Tuesday that will largely determine the Senate’s response to Zika, which has been shown to cause severe birth defects when contracted by pregnant women. Health experts believe infections in the U.S. could increase as mosquito populations grow during warmer months.

A proposal from Rubio and Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonWhy does Rep. Johnson oppose NASA's commercial human landing system? Trump hands Rubio coveted reelection endorsement in Florida Overnight Defense: Top House Armed Services Republican talks National Guard at Capitol, Afghanistan, more | Pentagon chief visits Afghanistan amid administration's review | Saudis propose Yemen ceasefire MORE (D-Fla.) would give the administration $1.9 billion in funding to fight the disease. 

Two other amendments, one from Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dakota Access pipeline to remain in operation despite calls for shutdown | Biden hopes to boost climate spending by B | White House budget proposes .4B for environmental justice 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet Number of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports MORE (R-Texas) and another from Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThune: 'There are Republicans who would vote' for smaller infrastructure package Republicans can't handle the truth about taxes Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge MORE (R-Mo.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySchumer kicks into reelection mode Democrats target Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act Senators eye rollback of Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act MORE (D-Wash.), would provide $1.1 billion. 

The Senate is ultimately expected to approve the Blunt-Murray amendment as part of a broader spending bill, putting the Senate on a collision course with the House. 

Both Rubio and Warren support giving the administration the full $1.9 billion it requested but said they would ultimately support the Murray-Blunt amendment, too. 

“I will support this proposal if that’s the last resort, as will many Democrats, because this is a health emergency,” Warren added. “If your ship is sinking and you need 12 lifeboats but you can only get six, you take six.”