Gov. Scott continues Zika mission in Washington
WASHINGTON - Gov. Rick Scott today will continue his Capitol Hill tour in search of funding for Zika virus, holding a full day of meetings with Florida lawmakers and several key leaders, including Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Scott made waves Tuesday by taking an unprompted shot at Sen. Bill Nelson, whom he accused of holding up funding because Nelson opposed a $1.1 billion bill that contains a provision Democrats say is intended to harm Planned Parenthood.
At 8 a.m., Scott meets with Reps. David Jolly, Dennis Ross, Gus Bilirakis and Gwen Graham. Soon after he sits down with Rep. John Mica before meeting with the Miami delegation: Reps. Frederica Wilson, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
A meeting with Rep. Vern Buchanan is followed by one with Sen. Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican who oversees the health budget. Scott will talk by phone with Blunt’s House counterpart, Rep. Tom Cole.
Then, at 3 p.m., Scott sits down with Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Sen. Marco Rubio. McConnell this week indicated money ($1.1 billion is the figure being discussed) into a stop-gap budget measure.
Nelson sounded optimistic but Sen. Harry Reid cast doubts on the deal, telling reporters Tuesday that he had not seen language. He also suggested some House Republicans would be unwilling to drop a provision preventing money from going to a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Puerto Rico, which has seen the worst of the Zika problem.
Scott met Tuesday with House Speaker Paul Ryan. A Scott spokeswoman said only that it was “very productive” and the governor “continued to address the urgent need for funding.”