WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a senior member on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, today released the following statement on the Zika Response Appropriations Act:
“For three months, House Republicans have ignored President Obama’s emergency funding request to address the Zika virus even as the weather has warmed, the virus has spread, and the window of opportunity to prepare for this health crisis has narrowed. Already, this disease has affected U.S. citizens and many of our neighbors, and we know that its impact will only grow as the summer months approach.
“After this unconscionable delay, the proposal offered by House Republicans is less than one-third of the amount included in the Administration’s emergency request. This meager proposal will pull needed funds from ongoing activities to fight the Ebola virus, even after the Administration has reallocated money from that pot. On top of that, the Republican Majority has chosen yet again to senselessly attack women’s health by imposing obstacles to women’s ability to make free and informed decisions about their reproductive health and family planning.
“Addressing the Zika virus will require enhanced research, unique care for pregnant women and affected infants, better management of mosquito populations, and carefully coordinated efforts to ensure that clear information reaches the public as quickly as possible. We know that, without adequate funding, agencies won’t be able to carry out these crucial activities—and yet, Republicans remain unwilling to allot the funding needed to address the threat of Zika head-on.”