Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney Supports Funding Bill to Immediately Fight Zika Virus

May 17, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) cosponsored the Zika Response Appropriations Act, a bill to provide immediate funding to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

This legislation will provide an immediate $622.1 million to expedite research, development and production of a vaccine and ensure Zika readiness in states like Florida with heavy mosquito populations who are most at risk. This bill is fully offset and directs unspent 2016 funding to federal agencies that have provided Congress an accounting of the amount of money they need and can spend right now to intensify our domestic and international response to prevent the spread of Zika. Without action, the virus is expected to continue to spread around the globe and within the United States, placing pregnant women and infants especially at risk.  

“Given the urgency of the situation, the House can no longer wait for the Administration to respond to our requests for information, and is providing an immediate $621 million for Zika response efforts. The American people are sick of Congress writing blank checks to President Obama and never finding out how he spends their hard earned money. Transparency and public health don’t have to be mutually exclusive.” Rooney said. “As a Member of the Appropriations Committee, I believe that this bill is the most fiscally responsible and transparent way for us to immediately fight Zika without recklessly spending taxpayer dollars. I am committed to making sure that Floridians are safe and this funding will immediately jumpstart our fight against Zika.”

This proposal is in addition to the $589 million that has already been repurposed from unused Ebola funds to fight Zika. This will bring the total amount allocated by the Republican-controlled Congress to $1.2 billion to fight Zika.

The full breakdown of the bill’s $662.1 million is below:

  • $170 million for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for mosquito control and Zika readiness in states most at risk and with heavy mosquito populations, state/local emergency preparedness grants for health departments preparing for Zika.
  • $230 million for National Institutes of Health to expedite vaccine development and diagnostic research to ensure the six vaccines currently in the pipeline at various stages can go to market quickly and safely.
  • $103 million for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development to support research and development of a vaccine, and subsequent rapid production and deployment of vaccines once they’re ready.
  • $100 million for global health vector control within affected countries to prevent the spread of the disease/mosquitos to the United States.
  • $19.1 million for Department of State/USAID to support our embassies’ ability to issue travel warnings, evacuate infected US citizens, conduct outreach and coordination with foreign health ministries on the handling of the outbreak, and conduct international information campaigns to help limit mosquito exposure.