Diaz-Balart: Congress Must Provide and Spend Every Dollar Needed for Zika, While Protecting Taxpayer Dollars
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act of 2016.
“I believe we need to provide and spend every dollar needed for Zika prevention, treatment, and response programs, and not one penny less. It is significant to note that the funds proposed in today’s bill - $622.1 million – are not the only funds immediately available for Zika response. Last month, after repeated requests from Congress, the Administration identified $590 million in existing unused Ebola funds and other funding to address immediate Zika needs. This will total almost $1.3 billion to combat Zika this fiscal year alone. If more funds are needed, Congress will do what is necessary to make sure additional funds are available. It is crucial the Obama administration and the Centers for Disease Control provide Congress with detailed information as to how they plan to spend these proposed funds. Congress has a responsibility to American taxpayers that their hard-earned dollars are spent efficiently and effectively, much unlike the fiasco with the ‘shovel-ready’ programs.
“I am grateful to Chairman Rogers for his leadership on this issue, and I am committed to continue working with him and my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to address Zika funding.”