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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Patrick Murphy speaks about Zika on House floor for first time

For the first time, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Jupiter U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy spoke on the House floor on Thursday about the need for congressional Zika funding.

C-SPAN/YouTube

For the first time, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Jupiter U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy spoke on the House floor on Thursday about the need for congressional Zika funding.

9

September

Thursday was the first time Jupiter U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy talked on the House floor about the need for congressional Zika funding.

It's a noteworthy moment for the Democratic candidate for Florida's U.S. Senate seat. Murphy has spoken frequently in the media about the topic for several months and, recently, he's used it as a campaign issue to attack incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for not doing enough. Rubio has lobbed his own share of criticism at Murphy, too, while both politicize Congress' deadlock.

While Thursday was Murphy's first mention of Zika on the House floor, Rubio has spoken at least 10 times on the Senate floor since mid-April, the Congressional Record shows -- including floor speeches on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

Several members of Florida's congressional delegation also spoke on the House floor on Wednesday, and five spoke on Thursday before Murphy did.

With Congress back in session this week from its summer recess, Murphy and Rubio are both jockeying to appear as more of the leader on the issue.

For instance, Murphy on Wednesday announced he and Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly, of Belleair Bluffs, were spearheading a bipartisan letter from Florida U.S. House members to again urge congressional leaders to approve the $1.9 billion President Barack Obama previously requested.

Here was Murphy's floor speech from Thursday:

And Rubio's floor speech from Tuesday:

[Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2016 11:55am]

    

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