Target: Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Goal: Pass congressional funding to combat the Zika virus as its danger to U.S. citizens grows.
As the danger of the Zika virus in America continues to grow and threaten citizens, Congress has yet to pass any legislation that will help fund ways to combat the serious virus. Congress went on recess in July after several bipartisan efforts to pass funding failed, leaving millions of Americans, including pregnant women, without any way to protect themselves against the mosquito-carried disease in the sweltering summer months.
Recently, the state of Florida has seen an increase in the state’s cases of the Zika virus within the Miami area, with 21 confirmed cases. In Texas, a newborn baby thought to have been infected by the virus passed away. If no action is taken soon, it is entirely possible that the virus can spread to other states as the warm summer continues. As seen in countries such as Brazil, the effects of the virus can be devastating.
Before its recess, Congress attempted to pass bipartisan funding that would designate $1.1 billion dollars to fighting the disease. It passed the senate and worked its way to the Republican-led house. However, it was adjusted by the souse before being sent back to the senate. Senate Democrats struck down the bill because it included language by the Republicans to cut millions towards healthcare programs, including Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. The need for funding is urgent as the National Institute of Health, which has been studying the disease and its effects in hopes of developing a vaccine, is on the verge of exhausting its funds.
There is still hope, however. If Congress reconvenes and works in a bipartisan manner, putting the public’s health and safety before political party lines, perhaps legislators can come together on an agreement. The bipartisan bill promising $1.1 million in funding is still on the table. It is still very possible for it to pass. However, legislators must work together and not treat public health and safety as a game of political gain. Sign the petition to let House Speaker Paul Ryan know that there is no time to waste when it comes to Zika.
Dear Speaker Ryan,
Before Congress recessed for the late summer months, there were attempts at passing bipartisan legislation aimed at combating the Zika virus within U.S. borders. However, once the bill proposing $1.1 billion to Zika funding reached the House, it became riddle with political rhetoric that took funds away from Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, and our nation’s veterans. As a result, the Senate Democrats turned down the bill and Congress recessed.
Millions of Americans, including pregnant women, are threatened with the spread of the disease, and the National Institute of Health is rapidly running out of funds as it works tirelessly to find a vaccine to combat this dangerous and deadly virus. House Republicans took advantage of a national emergency in attempts to accomplish its own goals instead of addressing the crisis at hand: Zika.
I urge you and other members of Congress to work together in a bipartisan manner to fight Zika. Please approve a bill that does not take away from other healthcare programs but addresses solely the Zika virus and gives our scientists and healthcare professionals the funding they need to protect Americans from the spread of Zika. When Congress reconvenes in September, or even if Congress meets in an emergency manner before its recess ends, Zika and its threat to Americans should become a priority.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: James Gathany/CDC