Gov. Scott departs Washington without Zika victory but maintains optimism
WASHINGTON - Gov. Rick Scott concluded a two-day visit to Capitol Hill without gaining assurances that lawmakers will act on funding to fight Zika. Still, he maintained a positive air.
“Everybody’s supportive,” Scott said in an interview outside the Capitol.
At the same time the Republican seemed frustrated that “everybody wants to explain the politics” why funding has not moved. “It hasn’t been accomplished yet,” Scott said, adding he was concerned about babies that could be affected by the virus.
Scott met with a range of officials over two days, including this afternoon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who holds the keys to a deal to insert $1.1 billion in a stop-gap budget measure. That deal has yet to emerge.
Scott stood by criticism of Sen. Bill Nelson, who voted last week against a $1.1 billion measure because, as Democrats contend, it would block funding to a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Puerto Rico. Earlier Wednesday Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Scott’s comments were not helpful.
“We don’t need to be calling people out,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “Sen. Nelson has been trying to help get Zika funding.”