Washington, D.C.—Tonight, a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund the federal government through December 9, 2016 was reported out of the House. The CR includes $1.1 billion in emergency Zika funding. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) released the following video message.
Excerpts from his speech:
“The Zika virus has been an ongoing threat to the health of residents and to the economic vitality of businesses in South Florida, and for months I have led the efforts in calling on Congress to act on Zika funding. I am pleased that we were able to work in a bipartisan manner to provide necessary funding of $1.1 billion through the recent emergency government spending package. While this level is below the $1.9 billion I joined in requesting with the Administration, this funding is a step in the right direction. We must stop the spread of the virus now in order to avoid an epidemic and to give women who are or may become pregnant, peace of mind. While the process of getting this funding across the finish line has been frustrating at times and bogged down in unnecessary political gamesmanship, I am glad to have led the efforts in bringing action on this bill that will finally provide the relief needed to South Florida families and local businesses affected by the Zika virus."
To watch the full video, click here or on the link above.
Background on Rep. Curbelo's Zika eradication efforts:
On May 11, Reps. Curbelo, Bilirakis, and Diaz-Balart met with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the need for Congress to come together and fund Zika eradication efforts. They also discussed Curbelo's bill, the Zika Eradication and Good Government Act.
On May 18, Curbelo voted against H.R. 5243, the Zika Response Appropriations Act, because it did not guarantee funds would be made available after the end of this fiscal year.
On May 26, Curbelo supported a package of military and Zika related bills, which included a bipartisan compromise on Zika funding of $1.1 billion.
On June 3, Curbelo and Senator Rubio held a joint press conference in Miami, Florida, urging their colleagues in the House and Senate to pass Zika funding when they return to session.
On June 21, in a letter to Congressional Conferees appointed to H.R. 4794/H.R. 5243, Curbelo urged his colleagues to support the Conference Report which included $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus.
On June 23, with Curbelo's support, the House adopted the Conference Report to H.R. 2577, which included $1.1 billion to fight Zika.
On July 13, Curbelo spoke on the House Floor to urge the Senate to unite and provide funding to eradicate this disease that could devastate our communities.
On August 4, Curbelo spoke to CNN's Carol Costello about the need for Congress to act responsibly to address the long-term threats of Zika.
On August 4, Curbelo traveled to Wynwood and met with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discuss the need for additional funds to be allocated to the state of Florida.
On August 18, Curbelo hosted a roundtable with local stakeholders and health experts to discuss the current Zika situation and raise awareness for families.
On September 8, Curbelo joined the Florida delegation in sending a letter to House and Senate Leadership, urging them to pass emergency Zika funding
On September 8, Curbelo spoke on the House Floor to urge Congress to take action for Zika efforts in South Florida, throughout the country, and around the world.
On September 9, Curbelo introduced the Small Business Relief from Disease Induced Economic Hardship Act, the House companion to Senator Rubio’s S.3301.
On September 13, Curbelo attended a meeting with Reps. Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Bilirakis, and Wilson to discuss continued efforts to eradicate the Zika virus with Governor Scott.
On September 22, Curbelo attended a press conference with Reps. Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Wasserman Schultz and Miami-Dade County Mayor Gimenez and City of Miami Beach Mayor Levine regarding the continuing battle against the Zika virus in South Florida.
On September 27, Curbelo had a meeting with Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discuss the importance of Zika funding.