Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart: Labor HHS Appropriations Funds Zika Prevention, NIH Research, Pell Grants

Jul 19, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill for fiscal year 2018.

“Last summer, the Zika virus became a public health crisis, and we learned that we must be ready to protect our communities and keep our families healthy. The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program provides states and local governments with the resources to respond to public health emergencies, like in the aftermath of a natural disaster or an infectious disease outbreak. The National Institutes of Health was also funded to continue research on Alzheimer’s and cancer treatment. It also funds opioid and heroin abuse treatment programs, to combat a drug crisis that is wreaking havoc across the United States. To help vulnerable populations, funding for senior nutrition programs, including Meals on Wheels, is provided. Many Florida students depend on Pell Grants to continue their education, and funding included offers an opportunity to education, regardless of one's means. Early childhood education makes a significant impact in the 25th District, and funding will allow these programs to continue making a difference in our community.

“I congratulate Chairman Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairman Cole on their leadership, and I am pleased we were able to fund so many programs that make a positive impact on our communities and keep our families healthy.”

Highlights from the legislation include:

  • $26.4 million for the prevention and response to vector borne diseases such as Zika
  • $35.1 billion to continue research at the National Institutes of Health, including:
    • $1.8 billion for Alzheimer’s research
    • $300 million for the Cancer Moonshot
    • $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” pediatric cancer research initiative
  • $9.3 billion for early childhood education
  • $747 million to address opioid and heroin abuse, which includes $500 million for the state response grants authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act
  • $838 million for senior nutrition programs, including $227 for the Meals on Wheels Program
  • $680 million for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement Program, helping local governments respond to public health emergencies
  • $22.4 billion to support students with financial need who receive Pell Grants
  • $2.3 billion  for the Ryan White HIV/Aids Program