When Congress returns after Labor Day, Scott will be waiting — to lobby for Zika virus dollars

Gov. Scott plans to go to Washington to pitch again for Zika virus dollars

Gov. Scott plans to go to Washington to pitch again for Zika virus dollars

When Congress returns from its summer recess after Labor Day, Florida Gov. Rick Scott plans to be waiting for lawmakers in Washington.

Scott said Thursday he plans to go to the Capitol on Sept. 5 to lobby for dollars to help fight the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in his state.

The governor made a similar visit in May, urging the Republican-led House and Senate to break their deadlock over federal funding of efforts to combat the virus. Scott met with Republican members of the Florida congressional delegation and federal Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

But the standoff endured, and shows few signs of easing with lawmakers from both parties now carrying the fight to the campaign trail.

Scott, who has done his share of White House bashing on the issue — even though President Obama recommended $1.9 billion in Zika funding in February — says getting dollars to his state is critical.

“During Congress’s vacation, we have identified 43 cases of locally acquired Zika in four Florida counties,” Scott said Thursday. “The Zika virus demands immediate federal action and I will impress upon our congressional members the urgency to protect our residents and visitors.”

Scott said the $26.2 million he authorized in emergency state funds to fight Zika already has been mostly distributed to local mosquito control and other efforts.

 

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