Rep. Martha Roby: Democrats need to stop blocking Zika funding bill

It’s here. Zika has entered the United States.

Despite House Republicans’ effort to pass legislation providing $1.1 billion in funding to fight the Zika virus, and numerous other sensible solutions to proactively address this public health concern, Democrats in the Senate turned around and voted against this funding to keep Americans safe—the very same funding they once supported.

In her recent op-ed posted online for CNBC, Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) calls out the Democrats and puts to rest any reasoning for opposing this legislation. Here are highlights from Rep. Roby’s op-ed:

  • “First, Senate Democrats take issue with temporarily waiving a requirement to obtain a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to use certain proven mosquito-killing sprays like DDT. However, killing mosquitoes is exactly what we need to be doing right now and an emergency waiver of this kind can help states and communities quickly respond to the Zika threat without a bureaucratic permitting delay. Furthermore, the bill specifically requires any pesticide used to already be approved under and applied in compliance with The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
  • “Next, Senate Democrats objected to the bill offsetting the cost by reallocating $543 million from ObamaCare funding. However, the ObamaCare money in question is leftover funding meant for setting up healthcare exchanges in territories that became unnecessary.”
  • “Finally, and probably most importantly, Senate Democrats are upset that the Zika appropriations bill does not allocate funding for Planned Parenthood, arguing that it leaves women without care options. But, that’s not true. The bill allocates $40 million for community health centers that are more plentiful and offer a wider range of care, plus $6 million for the National Health Service Corps and $95 million to the Social Services Grant Program that can distribute funds for preventive care to the most at-risk areas.


Check out Rep. Roby’s full op-ed here.