August 11, 2016
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today released the following statement in response to the announcement that the Department of Health and Human Services has directed an additional $76.6 million to fight the Zika virus – a move that the Chairman and the Republican-led House have been calling for.
“As we’ve seen around the globe and now within our own borders, the Zika virus is a deadly and devastating epidemic that must be stopped in its tracks. That is why the House has twice passed responsible, immediate funding legislation for vaccine development, mosquito control, and public health efforts. These much needed funds have been blocked at every turn by Democrats in the Senate, with the backing of the Obama White House.
“In addition, for over six months we have been calling on the Administration to use every existing resource at their disposal to address this crisis. Our calls have been met with little action, while the White House continues to cast aspersions and blame at others for lack of funding.
“It is clear yet again, with the announcement today, that federal agencies do indeed have existing funds available within their budgets that can be redirected to fight Zika. This has been the case all along, and it is disappointing that it has taken this long for this action to occur.
“I commend the Administration for finally moving forward with additional existing funding to fight this epidemic. And, if more resources are needed, I urge the Senate Democrats and the White House to approve the legislation already passed by the House, so that these funds to prevent and stop the spread of the Zika virus can be used quickly, effectively, and responsibly.”