Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today after the passage of H.R. 5325, the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution:
“I have mixed feelings of relief and frustration on behalf of my constituents and the entire State of Florida. After more than 900 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Florida, House Republicans finally allowed us to pass most of the emergency funding we need to curb this public health crisis. vote is a welcome start for Florida’s pregnant women, business owners and families affected by the Zika virus – but it has come many months later than it should have. President Obama, on the recommendation of our nation’s leading public health officials, requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding to fight this virus more than seven months ago.
“I am glad that Floridians can now turn all of their focus on stopping the spread of Zika, and no longer fear that this Republican Congress will leave them high and dry in the face of this crisis. It is deeply disappointing that until now, Republicans have insisted that the most appropriate response to a virus that overwhelmingly affects pregnant women was to place a politically-motivated ban on funding for reproductive healthcare providers. When a crisis as broad and sweeping as the Zika virus hits, we must ensure our constituents, health care providers and local governments have every tool available to fight it. Instead of handcuffing our response to crises like this one, we should work in a bipartisan fashion to serve the public. Hopefully, we will put an end to this vicious cycle of irresponsible, political foot-dragging which jeopardizes lives.”