Reid: Senate Should Not Recess Before Considering More Zika Funding

The Senate should not adjourn for a weeklong recess until the chamber takes up legislation to fight the spread of the Zika virus, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday.

“The Senate should not leave this week without addressing legislation that fights Zika,” the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor. “We can’t go on break without taking care of this emergency.”

Reid urged Senate Republicans to bring a funding measure for Zika to the floor after the chamber wraps up work on an energy and water appropriations bill, which is set to pass this week.

“I have yet to see it, I’ve heard about it,” Reid said. “If the Republican leader on the Appropriations Committee has an alternative they should bring it to the floor now. Democrats are happy to work toward a solution, but we have to get started. We need to give the experts the resources they need to prevent the spread of Zika.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced a separate bill, S. 2843, last week that would fulfill President Obama’s $1.9 billion funding request to fight Zika. On Monday, House Democratic appropriators also introduced a supplemental funding bill.

After this week, the Senate is scheduled to return on May 9.