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 WarrenHillicon Valley: T-Mobile, Sprint complete merger | Warren pushes food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees | Lawsuit accuses Zoom of improperly sharing user data Warren calls on food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees Biden confirms he's considering Whitmer for VP MORE (D-Mass.), and the right from Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPompeo: Countries must 'step up,' provide 'transparent' coronavirus information to save lives China did not count coronavirus positives if patient had no symptoms: report Trump seeks to sell public on his coronavirus response 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 NelsonLobbying world The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world MORE (D-Fla.) would give the administration $1.9 billion in funding to fight the disease. 

Two other amendments, one from Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers already planning more coronavirus stimulus after T package Cuban says he'd spank daughter if she was partying during coronavirus pandemic Twitter comes under fire over Chinese disinformation on coronavirus MORE (R-Texas) and another from Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Lawmakers already planning more coronavirus stimulus after T package Senate Democrats vow to keep pushing for more funds for mail-in voting MORE (R-Mo.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate coronavirus stimulus talks spill into Saturday Senate Democrats propose canceling student loan payments during coronavirus Stimulus plan hinges on McConnell, Schumer repairing toxic relationship 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.”