Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today after House Republicans released their plan for the Zika virus:

“I am extraordinarily disappointed and frustrated in House Republicans’ approach to combatting the Zika virus. More than 100 Floridians and more than 900 Puerto Ricans have already contracted this disease, and its devastating effects are undeniable.

“In Florida, I am proud that we have bipartisan agreement on the need for serious and comprehensive proposals to combat the Zika virus. Sadly, the only serious part of this proposal is how far it is from meeting our nation’s needs in battling this public health crisis.

“The House Republicans’ bill spends $1.3 billion less than the Administration’s request – even as the Administration has repeatedly made its case for the full request. We need this money to invest in effective mosquito control techniques, vaccine research, and to equip our local health centers to best detect and treat patients who have contracted the virus.

“Moreover, pulling funds from existing accounts is not the right way to treat an emerging threat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Anthony Fauci testified last week that Ebola has not disappeared, and we cannot stop ongoing efforts to prevent future outbreaks. House Republicans’ approach of robbing Peter to pay Paul is going to leave us shorthanded in dealing with both crises.

“I urge my colleagues to reject this bill and instead to support the bill I have introduced with Reps. Nita Lowey and Rosa DeLauro, which would fully fund the President’s request and adequately equip our state and local governments and health care and environmental professionals to respond to this crisis and keep our citizens safe.”