Vice Chairwoman Mikulski Statement on House Republicans’ Zika Supplemental Proposal


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in response to the House Republicans’ Zika supplemental proposal:


“The spread of the Zika virus is a compelling public health crisis.  Scientists have established a clear link between Zika and severe birth defects.  And the more they learn about Zika, the more their concerns grow.  In response to this public health emergency, the President requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding to protect Americans and stop the spread of Zika. 


“It’s shocking that after three months of dithering and delay, House Republicans have offered such a spartan proposal.  What we need is a responsible emergency supplemental. Otherwise, a lack of funding may worsen an outbreak in our country. 


“The Appropriations Committee has a very clear set of criteria for what is an emergency.  First, it has to be urgent.  It is urgent, the mosquito season is upon us.   Over 1,200 people in the United States and territories already have Zika – over 110 of them are pregnant.  Second, it has to be unforeseen.  The Zika pandemic was unforeseen.  And finally, it has to be temporary.  Only by failing to enact sufficient appropriations will this problem not be temporary.  We can do something about it, and we must do something about it.  The House Republicans are not only $1.3 billion short of what is needed to stop the spread of Zika and develop vaccines, but are demanding offsets.  This is irresponsible and ineffective way to protect Americans and prevent disastrous birth defects.


“Zika is already impacting Americans.  Lives are in the balance. We should not wait any longer to pass the $1.9 billion emergency funding request.”



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