Congress returns from a two-month summer recess Tuesday and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy laid out his to-do list.
Among the items: Keep up the steady stream of criticism aimed at Republican rival Marco Rubio.
“This is probably Marco Rubio’s least favorite day of the year,” said the Jupiter Democrat, in his second term in the U.S. House. &8220;He&8217;s got to go back to the Senate — a place that he says he hates. A place where he doesn&8217;t think he has enough power to solve problems.&8221;
By contrast, Murphy said he is eager to move forward with the White House&8217;s pitch to approve $1.9 billion in funding to fight the Zika virus, enact tougher gun restrictions, and steer more dollars toward easing the algae outbreak on #Florida&8217;s Treasure Coast.
Of course, all of these major issues have languished since lawmakers broke camp in July. And few signs of developing agreement, it&8217;s possible Republicans and Democrats continue their deadlock past the November elections.
Rubio&8217;s side revived their criticism of Murphy for having voted against Zika funding measures in the House &8212; where Republicans have put a number of contentious proposals on the table.
Rubio in May joined with Florida Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to introduce a $1.9 billion funding proposal that basically mirrored what the Obama administration sought. Rubio and several Florida Republicans also have urged their leadership to advance a deal to fight the outbreak.
But efforts have gone nowhere.
Olivia Perez-Cubas, a Rubio campaign spokeswoman, said Murphy is out to &8220;exploit this public health and economic emergency.&8221;