One of Patrick Murphy's key supporters in his bid for U.S. Senate has undercut the Democratic congressman's recent attack on Marco Rubio over federal Zika funding.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson came to Rubio's defense Tuesday following another unsuccessful vote in the Senate.
Nelson told reporters on Capitol Hill that it's not Rubio, Florida's Republican incumbent, who has failed to deliver on the federal aid -- as Murphy alleged in a media conference call earlier in the day.
"The person that hasn't delivered the Zika funding bill is (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell. We already passed it in the Senate, clean, without the political riders," Nelson said, adding that Rubio "can point to that he has voted for it in the past."
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"If McConnell would insist that the House not put the political riders on it, we'd have it done," Nelson added.
Murphy earlier Tuesday criticized Rubio for "not being able to deliver" on a "clean" Zika bill and for having "very little pull there with leadership in the Senate."
But that accusation doesn't match Rubio's own voting record.
"Remember, he voted for the $1.9 billion and he was my co-sponsor. And he voted for the $1.1 billion with no riders," Nelson said, adding that he doesn't care so much about individual politicians getting credit. "I don't care how we get it done; I just want to get this thing addressed head-on."
Murphy -- a two-term congressman from Jupiter whom Nelson endorsed -- has repeatedly attacked Rubio in recent weeks for Congress' inability to pass a "clean" bill for $1.9 billion in aid to fight the Zika virus. Murphy, who twice voted against funding proposals, said he specifically wants a measure that's for the full amount requested and that's free of "de-funding of health clinics or any other nonsense games."
One proposal stalled last month over language excluding funds for Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico, causing Democrats and Republicans to point fingers at each other -- including Murphy and Rubio.
Reporter Lindsay Wise of McClatchy's Washington D.C. bureau contributed to this report.