Wasserman Schultz, Appropriations Democrats Introduce Zika Supplemental

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Washington, DC, April 25, 2016 | comments
As a Floridian, it is unconscionable to me that House Republicans have failed to act on the Zika virus. Florida has the most confirmed cases of Zika virus in the continental United States, and further south, Puerto Rico has more than 500 confirmed cases of Zika. This bill helps protect pregnant women, travelers and the general public as we get into mosquito and travel season, and it's time for House Republicans to stop making excuses and work with Democrats to short circuit this rapidly evolving crisis immediately.
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Appropriations Democrats Introduce Zika Supplemental

Lowey, DeLauro, Wasserman Schultz:

Emergency Funding Needed to Protect American Communities

‘Robbing Peter to Pay Paul’ Diminishes Other Critical Capabilities

Florida, Gulf Coast, Dozens of Other States at Risk From Virus

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, today introduced an emergency supplemental appropriations bill to mount a robust response to the Zika virus at home and abroad.  Joining Lowey were Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ranking Democrat on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), a member of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee.

“While the House majority wastes time and resources with sham political ‘investigations,’ a public health crisis is spreading at home and abroad,” said Lowey.  “The majority has talked a good game about responding to the Zika virus, but all the hot air in the world does not deliver the vaccines, diagnostics, and mosquito control that is needed now to protect American communities.  The Administration has answered every question – repeatedly – about its request.  It is time for the House majority to stop making up excuses not to act.”

“House Republicans cannot continue to redirect funds to fight the Zika virus, while leaving other public health threats unaddressed. Not only will states have fewer resources to deal with other public health issues, governments across the country will have fewer resources to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus itself,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “Redirecting funds away from cities and states in the face of the Zika virus is the wrong way to address this public health threat. We must act now and immediately fund the Administration’s full request. Enough is enough.”

“As a Floridian, it is unconscionable to me that House Republicans have failed to act on the Zika virus,” said Wasserman Schultz. “Florida has the most confirmed cases of Zika virus in the continental United States, and further south, Puerto Rico has more than 500 confirmed cases of Zika. This bill helps protect pregnant women, travelers and the general public as we get into mosquito and travel season, and it’s time for House Republicans to stop making excuses and work with Democrats to short circuit this rapidly evolving crisis immediately.”

The legislation introduced by Lowey, DeLauro, and Wasserman Schultz reflects the Administration’s request of February 22, 2016 for a total of $1.9 billion in emergency spending.  The request is updated to include increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for vaccine and diagnostic research and development, and a corresponding reduction in funding for CDC Facilities and a Contingency Fund to respond to emerging needs.

The supplemental has been introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 5044.

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