Home Warner, Kaine vote to approve emergency Zika funding

Warner, Kaine vote to approve emergency Zika funding

congressU.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine voted to advance $1.1 billion of emergency supplemental funding for the prevention and treatment of the Zika virus outbreak.

The provision is expected to be included in the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act, which is currently being considered by the full Senate.

“There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Zika virus, but one thing we do know is that we can’t afford to wait. The time to invest in research and prevention is now – not at the peak of mosquito season. As of last week, Virginia has already had 15 lab-confirmed cases of the Zika virus,” said Warner. “I’ve been calling for a comprehensive response to the Zika virus for months, so I am relieved that the Senate has finally voted on emergency funding that will allow us to take critical steps such as controlling the mosquitos that spread Zika and  accelerating vaccine development efforts. While the funding that passed the Senate is short of the President’s full request for 1.9 billion to fight Zika, this is an important first step toward addressing a real and imminent threat to public health.”

“Even though today’s vote approved funding shy of the President’s original request of $1.9 billion, I voted for it because the threat of the Zika virus is serious, and we should not delay our response any longer. With cases already reported in more than 40 states and territories – including Virginia – it is critical the federal government has the necessary resources to treat and protect our communities and those most vulnerable to the virus. Today’s vote is a positive step but my colleagues and I have a responsibility to keep working to address this continuing public health challenge,” Kaine said.   

Last month, Warner and Kaine joined 40 of their colleagues in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran calling for immediate passage of President Obama’s emergency supplemental funding request for prevention and treatment of the Zika virus outbreak. A copy of that letter is available here.



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