WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Dan Donovan (R-NY) issued the following statement on partisan obstruction of funding to combat the Zika Virus. Yesterday, Rep. Donovan held a roundtable discussion with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Homeland Security, to discuss federal efforts to combat Zika Virus, including the risks to developing and manufacturing an effective vaccine without consistent funding. Senate Democrats have repeatedly scuttled efforts to pass a $1.1 billion emergency spending measure, and the Obama Administration has $2 billion in unused Ebola funds that could be immediately redirected to Zika research and development.
Chairman McCaul and Rep. Donovan: “The day after we held a subcommittee roundtable in Washington, D.C. on the Zika Virus, a child was born in Texas with Zika-related birth defects. This is a crisis that could mushroom quickly if we do not take immediate action. This uncertainty of funding raises questions with private sector partners as to whether R&D for vaccines can continue. We have acted in the House. Senate Democrats need to put aside partisan politics in the face of this public health emergency and pass the supplemental funding at the agreed-upon $1.1 billion level. If nothing else, the Administration should reprogram additional funds to address this dire need.”