Sorry to Disturb Your Long Vacation, Congressmen Jolly and Curbelo—Itís Zika Calling Again


Washington DC (August 17, 2016)  – Are Congressmen David Jolly (R-FL-13) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26) having a nice vacation? That’s great. During this nearly two-month long summer Congressional recess in the middle of a relaxed 111 Day work schedule, perhaps U.S. Reps. Jolly and Curbelo leisurely picked up a newspaper and noticed that the Zika virus threat that the Republican Congress played politics with before skipping town didn’t go away on its own. Instead, it got much worse.

Now over 7,300 Americans, including nearly 1,000 pregnant women, have been infected with Zika, and so far 15 babies have been born with Zika-related birth defects. And the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is warning that if Congress doesn’t approve adequate resources to contain it soon, they will have no choice but to divert resources from other critical health priorities like fighting opioid addiction rather than irresponsibly delay the development of a Zika vaccine any further. That’s why Americans United for Change is challenging Representatives Jolly and Curbelo to provide their constituents with one good reason why they shouldn’t cut their vacation short and demand that Speaker Paul Ryan call all House Members back to Washington to do their jobs. Job one: pass a clean and strong Zika prevention bill.

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “This Republican Congress will be remembered for the important work they didn’t do. They’ve failed completely to address the Flint water crisis. They’ve refused to hold a single vote on comprehensive immigration reform. Their only response to the worsening gun violence epidemic has been a “moment of silence.” They’ve repeatedly rejected a long-term jobs bill to put millions of Americans to work modernizing our nation’s crumbling roads, schools and bridges because they didn’t like that it was paid for by stopping big corporations from dodging their fair share in taxes by renouncing their U.S. citizenship. But worst of all, rather than passing a clean bill to provide the urgent resources needed to contain the spread of the Zika virus, Republicans in Congress like David Jolly and Carlos Curbelo decided to play politics by attaching a poison pill amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. Perhaps during all this vacation time on the taxpayer dime, Congressmen Jolly and Curbelo have taken a moment to reflect on the consequences of this inaction and recklessness around a serious public health threat. The longer the do-nothing Congress avoids passing a clean Zika funding bill, the more it will spread, the more expecting families will have to deal with heartbreaking problems at birth. This is a choice – and we hope Speaker Ryan, Congressmen Jolly and Curbelo, and the rest of the Party of Trump choose to get their priorities straight and get back to work or it will come back to bite them in November.”


* Similar releases issued to the following districts: Martha McSally (AZ-02); David Valadao (CA-21); Steve Knight (R-CA-25); Darrell Issa (R-CA-49); Mike Coffman (CO-6); Rod Blum (IA-01); David Young (IA-03); Kevin Yoder (KS-03); Bruce Poliquin (ME-02); Tim Walberg (R-MI-7); Mike Bishop (R-MI-8); Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03); Frank Guinta (NH-01); Scott Garrett (NJ-5); Joe Heck (NV-3); Cresent Hardy (NV-4); Lee Zeldin (NY-1); John Katko (NY-24); Will Hurd (TX-23); Robert Hurt (R-VA-5); Barbara Comstock (VA-10)