More than 40 Senate Democrats sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday, asking the Republican leaders to reconvene Congress so lawmakers can pass funding to address the Zika virus.

“Democratic senators blocked legislation that would provide $1.1 billion to deal with the virus’ rise in the United States shortly before Congress left Washington for a seven-week recess last month,” The Hill reports. “They objected to provisions in the measure dealing with Planned Parenthood funding and other issues that Democrats insisted were extraneous.”

Democrats Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono are among the senators urging the return to session.

The Capitol in 2013.

The Capitol in 2013.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

“It has been 164 days since the President requested emergency funding to fight Zika,” the senators wrote. “The combined time it took Congress to fund all of the last three public health emergencies – Ebola, H1N1 and Avian flu – was 137 days.”

At least one Republican senator, Marco Rubio of Florida, also wants lawmakers to return to Washington, D.C.

Late Thursday, President Barack Obama announced that he, too, wants action on Zika funding.

The government confirmed last week in Florida the first case of the virus that was transmitted locally.

Meanwhile, nearly 5,500 confirmed infections are in Puerto Rico.

The Congress is on break and is not scheduled to get back to D.C. work until after Labor Day.

The job pays $174,000 with lots of perks.

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