Having recently met with the chair of the Pinellas County Commission, the Pinellas County Manager as well as leading Zika research scientists at the University of South Florida, Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) is again calling on Congress to return to Washington, D.C. to pass a long-term Zika funding package.
"Florida is at risk and Washington is tone deaf," Jolly said. "Today's news of a locally transmitted case of Zika in Pinellas County is another alarm that should prompt leadership to call members back to DC to address this public health issue. As a representative of a frontline state dealing with the Zika outbreak, I fully understand the serious public health risk this virus presents. But we must address this issue now, responsibly and without playing politics. This is a public health issue, not a political issue," Jolly noted.
In June, Jolly sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan expressing the urgency of this issue for states like Florida. However, Congress failed to pass a Zika funding package before breaking for the district work period.
With Congress not scheduled to return to Washington, D.C. for two more weeks, Jolly supports an emergency session to address this health issue and quickly reach a bicameral, bipartisan consensus package that can be enacted into law immediately.
"The good news is nearly $100 million dollars per month is currently flowing to combat Zika as a result of reprogramming Ebola funds. But we must pass a comprehensive funding package that will give health officials what they need to protect Floridians and others from the spread of Zika before this threat becomes a crisis," Jolly added.