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 WarrenBecerra says he wants to 'build on' ObamaCare when pressed on Medicare for All Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill MORE (D-Mass.), and the right from Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRep. Stephanie Murphy says she's 'seriously considering' 2022 challenge to Rubio The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack 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 NelsonFlorida Democrats mired in division, debt ahead of 2022 Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives NRSC chair says he'll back GOP incumbents against Trump primary challengers MORE (D-Fla.) would give the administration $1.9 billion in funding to fight the disease. 

Two other amendments, one from Sen. John CornynJohn CornynPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Democrats look to improve outreach to Asian and Latino communities MORE (R-Texas) and another from Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Microsoft, FireEye push for breach reporting rules after SolarWinds hack Biden's unity effort falters MORE (R-Mo.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBiden health nominee faces first Senate test Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mars rover prepares for landing 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.”