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Marco Rubio and Carlos Curbelo lament lack of federal Zika funding


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio stressed that federal funds must be made available after four locally-transmitted cases of Zika were announced in Miami-Dade and Broward on Friday. 

“Zika doesn't just bite Republicans or Democrats or independents. It bites everyone,” Rubio said, adding that earlier this week he wrote to the president and asked him to spend about $300 million in federal funds available now.

Speaking at the Venezuelan restaurant, Arepazo #2, in Doral, Rubio was joined by fellow Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, state Rep. Carlos Trujillo and state Sen. Rene Garcia.

“Don't hold it back to play political games,” Rubio said he wrote to the president. “Zika is not a partisan issue, it is not a political issue.”

Curbelo also blamed Democrats for refusing to support a House Republican proposal that would have designated $1.1 billion for Zika but also reduced funding for Planned Parenthood, defunded parts of the Affordable Care Act and reversed a ban on flying Confederate flags in military cemeteries.

“I've been very fair in terms of criticizing both parties for failing to act,” Curbelo said. “Now, it's Senate Democrats who are regrettably blocking this funding from moving forward. It's not the $1.9 billion that we would have all wanted, but $1.1 billion dollars is still significant funding to fight this disease."

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