Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes to Pass Emergency Funding to Combat Zika Virus, Flint Water Crisis
Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement after voting to pass the bipartisan Continuing Resolution (CR) and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) to fund the government, combat the Zika virus and help the people of Flint, Michigan with their water crisis:
“For months, Congress failed to answer the calls for help from communities in need across the nation. Congressional leaders finally brought a bill to the floor and passed emergency funding for the lead-poisoned people of Flint, Michigan that will help them fix their decaying infrastructure and rebuild from this crisis. After more than 7 months of delay, we also passed a $1.1 billion package to combat the Zika virus in states across the country. As we saw in Hawaiʻi with the rapid spread of dengue fever earlier this year, a disease carried by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito as the Zika virus, many of our communities are underequipped to handle and control the spread of these dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses. This funding will help to support mosquito eradication efforts, lab testing, education and outreach, vital healthcare services, research, and more, and will reimburse state and local health departments that have taken on much of the financial burden of this public health pandemic.”
Background: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) voted in favor of the CR to fund the federal government through December 9, 2016, which includes more than $200 million for Hawaiʻi military construction, $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus across the United States, and it maintains current levels of funding for programs included in last year’s omnibus bill, including Native Hawaiʻi Education Act grants, the Honolulu Rail Transit Project, operations and maintenance for Hawaiʻi harbors, the East West Center, and others, through December 9.
The congresswoman also voted to pass the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which includes $170 million in relief and assistance for the people of Flint, Michigan dealing with the devastating water crisis.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard strongly supported the President’s emergency request to combat the Zika virus when it was first proposed in February. There have been more than 3,300 cases of Zika in the United States so far, including 12 in Hawaiʻi.