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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. Gwen Graham, Democrats push Republicans on Zika funding

Rep. Gwen Graham organized more than 120 House Democrats in an effort to push GOP leaders on $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus.

"We write to you today to express our extreme concern over the increasing threat posed by the Zika virus," reads a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan. "As you know, there are significant challenges associated with combating Zika, and we must act swiftly to ensure that we have all of the necessary tools at our disposal, including robust funding to support research and response efforts. That is why we support the administration’s full request of $1.9 billion in emergency appropriations to combat this international public health threat. We strongly urge you to bring such legislation to the floor."

Graham, who is leaving Congress and is likely to run for governor in 2018, is amplifying what other Democrats have demanded.

But the chances of the Obama administration getting $1.9 billion are diminished. The Senate today is to take up a bipartisan plan for $1.1 billion, a proposal expected to gain more support than a $1.9 billion request from Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.

House Republicans, meanwhile, on Monday unveiled a plan for $622 million.

Full letter below. Dear Speaker Ryan:

We write to you today to express our extreme concern over the increasing threat posed by the Zika virus.  As you know, there are significant challenges associated with combating Zika, and we must act swiftly to ensure that we have all of the necessary tools at our disposal, including robust funding to support research and response efforts.  That is why we support the administration’s full request of $1.9 billion in emergency appropriations to combat this international public health threat.  We strongly urge you to bring such legislation to the floor.

In recent months, it has become evident that we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the Zika virus—how it works and what its immediate and long-term health implications are.  As it continues to spread, it is imperative that we make immediate, sustained investments in research that, hopefully, will yield a Zika vaccine, diagnostic method and guide our continued response strategy.  We are encouraged by the research being done across the country, including in many of our districts, but there is still much we do not understand.  Until we have these answers, we must prioritize robust funding for Zika research.

Zika has spread rapidly in other parts of the world and we are seeing the same pattern here in the U.S. There are at least 503 reported cases of Zika in the U.S. to date and at least 701 reported cases in U.S. territories. Among these, pregnant women account for 113 cases. This number will continue to rise until Congress acts. Given the neonatal neurological implications of this virus, it is unconscionable to further delay action on this very critical issue.

We must not underestimate just how destructive invasive pests and diseases can be. We are gravely concerned about the implications of this virus and, for this reason, research and response efforts have our full and steadfast support.  We urge you to give this your full and fast consideration and ask that you bring to the floor legislation to provide $1.9 billion in emergency appropriations for Zika.

1

Rep.

GWEN GRAHAM

2

Rep.

GRACE MENG

3

Rep.

JARED POLIS

4

Rep.

DEBBIE DINGELL

5

Rep.

PATRICK MURPHY

6

Rep.

FILEMON VELA

7

Rep.

SETH MOULTON

8

Rep.

JOYCE BEATTY

9

Rep.

AMI BERA

10

Rep.

EARL BLUMENAUER

11

Rep.

CHERI BUSTOS

12

Rep.

KATHY CASTOR

13

Rep.

KATHERINE CLARK

14

Rep.

JOE COURTNEY

15

Rep.

JOE CROWLEY

16

Rep.

SUSAN DAVIS

17

Rep.

JOHN DELANEY

18

Rep.

MARK DESAULNIER

19

Rep.

MIKE DOYLE

20

Rep.

MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM

21

Rep.

DAN KILDEE

22

Rep.

ANNIE KUSTER

23

Rep.

JOHN LARSON

24

Rep.

SANDY LEVIN

25

Rep.

ZOE LOFGREN

26

Rep.

DORIS MATSUI

27

Rep.

JERRY MCNERNEY

28

Rep.

ED PERLMUTTER

29

Rep.

KATHLEEN RICE

30

Rep.

BOBBY SCOTT

31

Rep.

KYRSTEN SINEMA

32

Rep.

MIKE THOMPSON

33

Rep.

NIKI TSONGAS

34

Rep.

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN

35

Rep.

JUAN VARGAS

36

Rep.

PETER WELCH

37

Rep.

PETE AGUILAR

38

Rep.

LOIS FRANKEL

39

Rep.

FREDERICA WILSON

40

Rep.

RAÚL M. GRIJALVA

41

Rep.

DON BEYER

42

Rep.

JIM COOPER

43

Rep.

RAUL RUIZ

44

Rep.

TONY CÁRDENAS

45

Rep.

ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS

46

Rep.

SUZAN DELBENE

47

Rep.

JOHN GARAMENDI

48

Rep.

SEAN PATRICK MALONEY

49

Rep.

JIM HIMES

50

Rep.

STEVE COHEN

51

Rep.

NYDIA M. VELÁZQUEZ

52

Rep.

TED DEUTCH

53

Rep.

SUZANNE BONAMICI

54

Rep.

SCOTT H. PETERS

55

Rep.

STACEY E. PLASKETT

56

Rep.

ERIC SWALWELL

57

Rep.

CORRINE BROWN

58

Rep.

YVETTE D. CLARKE

59

Rep.

DONALD M. PAYNE, JR.

60

Rep.

ALCEE HASTINGS

61

Rep.

WATSON COLEMAN

62

Rep.

MARK POCAN

63

Rep.

LORETTA SANCHEZ

64

Rep.

DONALD NORCROSS

65

Rep.

RUBEN GALLEGO

66

Rep.

JOHN LEWIS

67

Rep.

BENNIE G. THOMPSON

68

Rep.

BRENDAN F. BOYLE

69

Rep.

LUIS V. GUTIÉRREZ

70

Rep.

WILLIAM R. KEATING

71

Rep.

JIM LANGEVIN

72

Rep.

DAVID PRICE

73

Rep.

SANFORD D. BISHOP, JR.

74

Rep.

TULSI GABBARD

75

Rep.

DANIEL W. LIPINSKI

76

Rep.

MARCIA L. FUDGE

77

Rep.

DAVID SCOTT

78

Rep.

HENRY CUELLAR

79

Rep.

DEREK KILMER

80

Rep.

ROSA DELAURO

81

Rep.

JANICE SCHAKOWSKY

82

Rep.

COLLIN C. PETERSON

83

Rep.

TIM WALZ

84

Rep.

NITA LOWEY

85

Rep.

BETTY MCCOLLUM

86

Rep.

JULIA BROWNLEY

87

Rep.

JAMES P. MCGOVERN

88

Rep.

KURT SCHRADER

89

Rep.

ANNA ESHOO

90

Rep.

ADAM B. SCHIFF

91

Rep.

PAUL D. TONKO

92

Rep.

CAROLYN ‎B. MALONEY

93

Rep.

ELIOT L. ENGEL

94

Rep.

SAM FARR

95

Rep.

JOSEPH KENNEDY

96

Rep.

ELIZABETH ESTY

97

Rep.

BARBARA LEE

98

Rep.

ALAN LOWENTHAL

99

Rep.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ

100

Rep.

DAVID N. CICILLINE

101

Rep.

JIM COSTA

102

Rep.

JARED HUFFMAN

103

Rep.

ROBERT BRADY

104

Rep.

CEDRIC RICHMOND

105

Rep.

BRIAN HIGGINS

106

Rep.

HAKEEM JEFFRIES

107

Rep.

TED LIEU

108

Rep.

TIM RYAN

109

Rep.

CHELLIE PINGREE

110

Rep.

LOUISE M. SLAUGHTER

111

Rep.

JOSÉ E. SERRANO

112

Rep.

LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ

113

Rep.

BRENDA L. LAWRENCE

114

Rep.

LOIS CAPPS

115

Rep.

ALMA ADAMS

116

Rep.

LLOYD DOGGETT

117

Rep.

GERALD E. CONNOLLY

118

Rep.

DONNA F. EDWARDS

119

Rep.

AL GREEN

120

Rep.

GREGORIO KILILI CAMACHO SABLAN

121

Rep.

ANN KIRKPATRICK

122

Rep.

JIM MCDERMOTT

123

Rep.

ALAN GRAYSON


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 1:24pm]

    

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