WASHINGTON – Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) released the following statements after meeting with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, City of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and City of Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola regarding the continuing battle against the Zika virus in South Florida.
"With the rest of our Miami-Dade Congressional delegation, I will continue demanding that Congress set aside partisan politics and live up to its obligation to families and residents in South Florida by passing a comprehensive funding bill with no policy riders once and for all. Our community deserves better, the time for federal action is now. I have communicated to the leadership in the House my deep frustration with the paralysis of appropriating funds to fight this public health menace. Our South Florida Congressional delegation stands united in a bipartisan manner in our deep disappointment with the dysfunction of this broken system. We have been saying loud and clear: stop the political gamesmanship and pass a full funding Zika bill now. It is way overdue,” said Rep. Ros-Lehtinen.
"As I've advocated for months, along with my South Florida colleagues, we need a clean Zika funding bill to attack this crisis, and it is long past time for House Republican Leadership to stop playing politics with people's lives. We cannot allow extraneous political issues to interfere with our public health response - especially for a disease that overwhelmingly affects pregnant women and potential mothers-to-be," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
“This morning I met with Mayor Gimenez and my colleagues from Florida to discuss urgently-needed funding to address the growing crisis of Zika. Mayor Gimenez was able to speak to the conditions in South Florida, which has become ground zero for this disease. We all agree that funding needs to be passed as quickly as possible. I strongly believe that we need to provide every penny needed to fight this disease, and not one dollar less. This virus poses a threat to every Floridian, and I am confident we will be able to secure funding to protect the lives of unborn babies and their families,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart.
“Today’s meeting further proves that Florida legislators from both parties and elected leaders at all levels are taking this issue seriously. We have seen firsthand the impact of Zika on our neighborhoods. For Floridians it represents both an economic and public health threat. Today, we once again come together to urge Congress to pass a clean Zika bill to fund response efforts long-term, and I'm confident that the concerns of our South Florida community will soon be addressed,” said Rep. Curbelo.
"South Florida is ground zero for Zika and we need Congress to step in to help us keep our millions of residents and visitors safe," said Mayor Gimenez. “I appreciate the full support of our state delegation as we continue to urge Congress to provide the funding our community urgently needs."
"It is important that legislators like Mayors Gimenez and Levine today, and Governor Scott last week, are coming to Washington to discuss our efforts to end the spread of Zika and join Florida’s congressional delegation in the fight for a clean bill to swat, drain and repel this terrible virus," said Congresswoman Wilson. "We are excited about the lifting of the travel advisory for Wynwood, which is in my district, but our work isn't done until we have ended the Zika threat. I remain committed to passing a clean Zika bill and securing the funding needed to achieve our goal,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson.