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After failed Senate vote, Rubio cautiously optimistic Congress can pass clean Zika bill

From McClatchy Washington correspondent Lindsay Wise's story about the failed Zika-funding vote in the U.S. Senate Tuesday night:

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is running for re-election in Florida, sent a letter Tuesday to House of Representatives and Senate Republicans and Democrats on the appropriations committees, as well as members of the House and Senate leadership, urging them to include Zika funding in any government funding bill they put together.

He made the same plea in a speech on the Senate floor after the vote Tuesday.

“Congress needs to act and it needs to act now,” he said.

Rubio said in an interview that he’d had conversations with Republican leaders in the House, explaining to them that he thought a clean bill without the controversial language restricting the use of grant money for Planned Parenthood probably was the only way forward.

He said a number of his GOP House colleagues had been echoing the same message to their leadership.

“I think that’s pretty clear that the Senate Democrats are not going to go for it with that language (affecting Planned Parenthood) in it,” Rubio said. “We just need to get this funded, at this point. . . . Hopefully we can prevail on our House colleagues.”

He said he was cautiously optimistic that a deal could be reached.

More here.