EDISON - New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone is calling on Congress to pass emergency funding to combat the Zika virus.

At a media event held at the Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission in Edison Tuesday morning, Pallone, a Democrat, said that House Republicans are fighting almost $2 million in funding plans. He says that since Zika is now threatening communities in Florida, it is time to act.

“We also know that research is being hampered. There's a real possibility of developing a vaccine,” Pallone said “It went through the first stage but now it's not moving to the second stage because [the National Institutes of Health] says they don't have the money to do it.”

The Zika virus has been known to cause certain birth defects in children born to mothers who have the illness.