ZIKA VIRUS
(House of Representatives - September 08, 2016)

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[Pages H5214-H5217]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





                               ZIKA VIRUS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Comstock). Under the Speaker's 
announced policy of January 6, 2015, the Chair recognizes the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Jolly) for 30 minutes.
  Mr. JOLLY. Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity tonight to 
come to the floor of the House together with a bipartisan group of 
legislators from the State of Florida to talk about the importance of 
urgent action on the Zika virus.
  Perhaps no story has captivated the anxiety of the American people 
more than Zika has recently. Neither has a topic more angered the 
American people, angered people throughout Florida, because of the 
inability of a Congress and a President and a divided government to put 
policy ahead of politics and actually address what is a growing public 
health crisis.
  Many issues that we face today--and the Founders intended this--are 
regional issues, from flooding, to health scares, to infrastructure 
issues. We have regional representation here in the House. Florida, in 
the continental United States, is ground zero for the impact of the 
Zika virus.
  What has emerged within the Florida delegation, I am proud to say, is 
consensus that continues to grow among Republicans and Democrats around 
urgency. Now, we all have different opinions about the packages that 
have been proposed. Over the past 6 months, we have seen three primary 
options:
  The President proposed a plan of $1.9 billion over 2 years. That was 
his initial proposal.
  The House proposal had money flowing at about that same rate by 
reallocating $600 million from unspent Ebola money that was to be 
delivered over about 6 months, so $100 million a month, depending on 
how you calculate the color of money.
  The Senate reached a compromised plan at about $1.1 billion. Now, I 
am sure we all have differences of opinions about which plan is best. 
We have seen that. We have seen demands for votes on the President's 
plan. In fact, in the Appropriations Committee, we have had to take 
those votes many times. We have seen the Senate act on their plan. We 
have seen the House act on theirs.
  I had great reservations about some of the elements of the 
President's plan, and I was honest about this. The President's plan 
assumed a 2-year crisis instead of just 1. I had questions about that. 
The President's plan allowed for construction of capital properties on 
leased lands with no recapture provisions. I had concerns about that in 
terms of stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The President's plan also 
expands Medicaid services of taxpayer supported health care in Puerto 
Rico by an additional 10 percent for any healthcare needs, not just 
Zika, arguably diluting money going to Zika. Those were my concerns. 
The system is set up for us to have that debate. It is okay that we 
have that debate.
  Others have great concerns about the House bill and some of the 
provisions and riders in the House bill. They have objected to those. 
That is understandable as well.
  In the Senate, they reached a compromise around a $1.1 billion clean 
bill.
  We should have these debates early on. Nothing should be rubber-
stamped. We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't actually read the 
legislation, see what is in it, and talk about a contest of ideas. But 
we can never let those differences lead us to inaction. That is what is 
at risk in the current Zika debate. We cannot let our differences lead 
us to doing nothing.
  I believe we have a pathway forward around a consensus, clean $1.1 
billion package we have seen in the Senate today with my colleague, 
Curt Clawson, from the State of Florida and others. We have introduced 
the clean version with no riders of the Senate plan here in the House 
of Representatives to hopefully give us a platform where we can build 
consensus around it. I believe that is the way to do it. Drop the 
riders, fund Zika. Let's do it. Let's do it now.
  But at the end of the day, whatever package comes through here, we 
are called to support it. This is a public health crisis that we must 
address, which is why, despite my objections initially to the 
President's plan, I have begun to vote for the President's plan in the 
Appropriations Committee because the urgency is now, and it is time 
that we pass a Zika package.
  The American people are angry, but they are scared. It is not our job 
to take the nuances of legislation, the nuances of different colors of 
money in the Federal budget process, and try to preach at the American 
people why one side is right or the other. Our job is to listen to the 
anxiety of the American people and address a pending health concern in 
a divided government.
  The anger is that this issue perfectly reflects the dysfunction we 
often see in Congress, and it is doing so in the context of a public 
health crisis. We have to seize upon the better angels in this Chamber 
and in this town. You see, it doesn't help when either side plays 
politics with the Zika issue when the first thing that happens after a 
vote is the two campaign committees rush emails out the door in 
Members' home districts trying to raise money or blame politics, blame 
each other.
  As a Florida delegation, let us lead tonight in trying to form 
consensus around a solution on Zika.
  In that light, I am happy to be joined this evening, first, by a 
colleague of mine from south Florida and the Keys, one of the most 
beautiful districts next to Pinellas County, I would say.
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Curbelo), a 
champion and early endorser of Zika funding.
  Mr. CURBELO of Florida. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Jolly), my distinguished colleague, for leading this very 
important discussion here this evening on a topic that has a lot of 
people worried back home.
  I remind people that, in the State of Florida, this is, obviously, a 
public health crisis. There are a lot of women who are pregnant and are 
very concerned. A few weeks ago, we got a call from my wife's OB/GYN 
telling us that his office was full of patients asking questions--a lot 
of anxiety, a lot of nervous people in our State.
  In Florida, this is also an economic issue. I met recently with 
businessowners in the Wynwood-Allapattah area near downtown Miami. They 
tell me that business in that area is down 60 percent. That means jobs. 
That means people who aren't going to be able to take income home to 
their families, income that they need.
  For us, of course, it is a public health crisis, and that is our 
number one concern because we want to make sure that people can live 
comfortably and feel safe in our State. We actually know a few people 
who have left the State because they are pregnant and they don't want 
to risk exposing their unborn babies to the effects, the devastating 
effects, that we have seen Zika cause throughout the world, primarily 
microcephaly, babies born with brain disorders.
  By the way, we are still learning a lot about the Zika virus. We 
don't know what the long-term effects are because, until recently, this 
isn't a virus that had really come under the microscope.
  The bottom line is that we need these funds because we need long-term 
certainty in the fight against Zika. We need long-term certainty so 
that all the Federal agencies--the CDC, Health and Human Services, 
State agencies, local agencies--can all respond, develop a vaccine, 
and, of course, help partner nations overseas.

  In Florida, we get tourists from all over the world, but especially 
from Latin America, from South America. We need to help nations like 
Brazil get this virus under control; otherwise, we will continue to be 
exposed.
  Madam Speaker, I am so thankful to my colleague, Mr. Jolly, for his 
leadership on this issue, for bringing us together here tonight--
Republicans and Democrats--asking for common sense, asking to make the 
American people proud of this Congress, to show that we can be 
competent, that we can solve people's problems, that we can help people 
feel safe and secure in their communities, especially throughout the 
State of Florida.
  Mr. JOLLY. Madam Speaker, my appreciation to Congressman Curbelo.
  Carlos raises an interesting insight, which is part of getting to the 
bottom of this early on, that, as stewards of taxpayer dollars, what is 
the money to be used for? Those questions initially are very important. 
As I mentioned, I had some early objections with the President's plan 
that I have resigned

[[Page H5215]]

over that I will support if it is what it takes to get a package done. 
But what is the money used for? That is an important question for the 
American people.
  One of the questions was: Is mosquito control really a Federal 
activity? That is a legitimate question. Should we rely on States and 
localities for mosquito control?
  Here is the important thing you will learn when you get into why we 
need a Federal bill to support Zika. It is about the vaccine 
development. It is about the research into how do we have a cure and 
eradicate the Zika virus, how do we partner with States and localities 
who are deploying resources right now for mosquito control, mosquito 
abatement and education; but how does the Federal Government also step 
in in the midst of what is a public health crisis with national 
implications both to people's health, to their lives, and also to our 
Nation's economy and Florida's economy? What is the proper role of the 
Federal Government?
  In this case, I believe it is to provide the funding, hopefully at 
the $1.1 billion level, but I would be happy to support the $1.9 
billion as well, whatever it takes to get it done.

                              {time}  1815

  Representing the urgency and consensus to get this done, we are 
joined by a Democratic colleague of ours from Palm Beach and the 
Broward County area, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Deutch).
  Mr. DEUTCH. I thank the gentleman.
  Madam Speaker, I thank my Republican colleagues for joining here on 
this vitally important issue.
  I rise to call for a vote on a Zika funding bill that is free of 
partisan hot button issues and that is free of political gamesmanship.
  I am proud to join in this call for action with my Florida 
colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike. We have come together--
above partisan divisions--to support the administration's request for 
emergency Zika funding. Our ability to come together and the refusal of 
the rest of this Congress to do the same is telling. South Florida is 
actively fighting outbreaks in South Beach and Wynwood. There are cases 
in Broward County, and there are cases in Palm Beach County, and we 
have seen locally acquired cases in my home district.
  My constituents and the constituents of my colleagues throughout 
Florida are feeling the anxiety and the fear that come when there is so 
much that is out of their control. It is time for Congress to do all 
that we can to help stop the spread of this virus. This Congress' 
inaction is hurting Florida's families. As Representative Curbelo 
pointed out, it is hurting our economy.
  I have three children. My twin daughters are just settling back in to 
start a new year of college. Today, by the way--I share with my Florida 
colleagues--they are celebrating their 21st birthday. My son is 
finishing up high school; but it feels like just yesterday when my wife 
and I were anxiously expecting each of their arrivals into our lives. 
Like most Americans who are starting a family or who are growing a 
family, we experienced the full range of complex emotions as we waited 
for their births: the sense of not knowing exactly what is going to 
come, the excitement, the anxiety, the anticipation, the joy. 
Unfortunately, the Zika virus is threatening the joy of growing a 
family for thousands of Floridians, and we are just not doing all that 
we can to stop it.
  In December of last year, after outbreaks in Brazil were connected to 
devastating birth defects, The New York Times reported a warning for 
the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC 
warned at the time that imported cases ``will likely increase and may 
result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United 
States.''
  Now, at that time in December, 2,700 babies had been born with 
microcephaly in Brazil--an increase from 150 the year before. These 
babies were born with abnormally small heads, and now we know, from 
subsequent research, that the Zika virus attacks growing cells that 
cause incomplete brain development and smaller heads in these children. 
These birth defects are devastating. They are also incurable. These 
children will have lifelong problems with their vision and with their 
cognitive abilities and will have other complications.
  Now we know that the CDC's warning in December has become a reality 
in Puerto Rico and in south Florida.
  Verified cases have exploded in Puerto Rico. In the span of only a 
few weeks--from the end of July until today--the total cases of Zika on 
the island have jumped from 5,500 total and 672 in pregnant women to 
nearly 14,000 total and 1,000 cases in pregnant women. If these trends 
continue, experts expect that a quarter of the population of Puerto 
Rico will be infected--or 887,000 infections. That, unfortunately, 
would represent tens of thousands of babies being born with 
microcephaly.
  The costs of care and the toll on families is staggering. This is an 
issue that affects families. It is also an issue that winds up 
affecting their communities. The lifetime costs of medical care for 
each of these children will be in the millions of dollars.
  While the virus is spreading rapidly in Puerto Rico, experts like 
virologist Tim Tellinghuisen of Scripps Research Institute said that 
the situation in Puerto Rico could very much happen in Florida. Over 
the past 7 weeks, as Congress was in recess, Florida cases went from 
311--and no local infections--to over 600 cases, including 56 local 
infections. The number of cases in pregnant women has doubled. Our 
constituents are at risk.
  For us, this is not a political fight. Honestly, in my heart, I do 
not understand how this has become a political fight for those leaders 
who have blocked the Zika funding in a clean bill. I understand and my 
colleagues here understand that we serve in the most polarized Congress 
in history. There are all kinds of issues that we could debate and ways 
that we might get at that and ways that we could change it as we need 
to. We have seen the divide over and over again between Republicans in 
Congress and President Obama; but the funds requested in this Zika 
battle--the funds requested to fight Zika--are not grounded in 
ideology.
  The President didn't wake up one day and say: Hmm, I think we should 
have $1.9 billion to fund Zika.
  After the warnings that followed the outbreaks in Brazil, President 
Obama went to the scientists and to the experts at the NIH and the CDC 
and other agencies, and he asked: What will it take to respond?
  His request to this Congress represents their answer.
  As we heard last week, the funding situation is now dire. Dr. Tom 
Frieden, the Director of the CDC, said, basically, we are out of money.
  So I join my colleagues here because it is past time to act. We have 
to put these political battles behind us. We have to do--and we have 
the opportunity to do here--something that, I think, is not only the 
right thing for us and, more importantly, for our constituents--for the 
American people--but we could do something that would actually, 
perhaps, set an example. We should elevate the common good. We have to 
protect American families, and we have to pass a clean funding bill to 
stop the spread of Zika.
  To Mr. Jolly, I will relay just one conversation I had on my way out 
of the office. I was talking to a staffer of mine about the coming 
months, and the conversation turned to November, when there is an 
election. Sometimes people from D.C. like to volunteer on campaigns on 
the weekend before the election. I have a young woman in my office who 
said she just doesn't think that she is going to be willing to go down 
this year out of fear of Zika.
  How do we not show that we can act in a way that responds to a public 
health emergency, and only to that public health emergency, without 
bringing in all of these other issues?
  We have to do this. I am really grateful to be here on the House 
floor, and I am really thrilled to be here with my Republican 
colleagues, who are as committed to doing this as I am. I am so 
grateful for the opportunity to share this time with you.
  Mr. JOLLY. I thank my colleague, Mr. Deutch.
  That is the urgency. My colleague, Mr. Deutch, mentioned his family, 
and birthday wishes are in order.
  Congratulations.
  My wife and I just got married last year, and we are hoping to have a 
family ourselves. We live within 5 or 10

[[Page H5216]]

miles of one of the non-travel-related cases. Folks do understand the 
anxiety that creates for people in Florida who are hoping to have a 
family.

  Yesterday and the day before--and it created a bit of a buzz--I 
brought about 100 mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti variety, which are 
capable of carrying Zika. Through working with the University of South 
Florida, we were able to get these mosquitoes here to Washington, D.C., 
because I wanted colleagues to understand the urgency of what happens 
to families in Florida when they are in the proximity of these 
mosquitoes.
  When I gave a speech with these mosquitoes, do you know what the 
American people said--hundreds and thousands of people?
  ``Release them.'' ``Smash the jar.''
  Do you want to see Congress work fast?
  Expose Zika mosquitoes in this Chamber. We would shut it down. We 
would scrub the Chamber. People would get tested. That is the anxiety. 
That is the urgency.
  It doesn't know partisanship. It is okay that we have had this debate 
initially over what the right response is--the President's proposal, 
the House's, or the Senate's. That is okay. That is doing our job, but 
it is not doing our job when we let the fighting and debating lead us 
to do nothing.
  We are joined tonight by another leader in our delegation from the 
panhandle--the Tallahassee area of Florida--a good friend, a Democratic 
friend, Ms. Gwen Graham.
  Ms. GRAHAM. I thank Congressman Jolly, and I thank Congressman Deutch 
very much for arranging this tonight. It means a lot. I feel the same 
anxiety just being as close to the larvae as others feel, and I might 
just ask that the gentleman keeps them in the jar.
  Madam Speaker, let me talk about my home State of Florida. I was born 
and raised in south Florida. I think, right around now, the Sun is 
probably setting in south Florida. The weather is nice. It is 80 
degrees. The sky is that beautiful pink that we get. Vacationing 
tourists are strolling along the beach or are enjoying dinner on a 
patio. Somewhere--I know this--there is a dad outside who is grilling 
steaks, and moms are watching soccer practice. That is our life. That 
is our life in the beautiful State of Florida. It is like a lot of 
other places around this country except, right now in Florida, families 
are scared.
  I have thought about the gentleman and Laura, and I understand that 
fear.
  Families are scared because, as the Sun sets, the mosquitoes are 
coming out. For all of our lives we have lived with mosquitoes. It is 
part of our life in Florida, but now they are more than a nuisance. Now 
they are a deadly threat. We are scared because there is a deadly virus 
spreading. Parents are scared that, if their children are bitten, they 
could get terribly sick. Seniors are scared that, if they catch the 
disease, they may not survive. Pregnant women are scared that they will 
wake up one morning with a mosquito bite and that it may cause the 
children inside them to be born with terrible birth defects.
  My daughter would be appalled for me to say this, but she is 25. She 
doesn't live in Florida right now. I hope she will move back, but the 
risk of pregnancy right now would not be one that I would want her to 
take.
  So this is the new normal in Florida. More than 600 people in Florida 
have been infected with the Zika virus. Almost 100 pregnant women in 
Florida have been infected.
  We have been sounding the alarm for months, haven't we, Congressman 
Jolly?
  I have come on this floor to ask for funding to fight the disease. I 
led a letter with more than 120 Democrats that asked Speaker Ryan to 
have a vote on full funding to fight the disease. I did a workday with 
the local mosquito control team in Bay County, and I have asked my 
constituents in north Florida to do their part to fight off the 
spreading disease.
  I ask again--particularly now, following Hermine, as we have had a 
lot of water in our area--to please go out and make sure that you dump 
any standing water.
  I am really proud of all that we are doing as Floridians to try and 
stop the spread of Zika in Florida.
  Florida State University is researching the virus and making 
important breakthroughs.

                              {time}  1830

  Local municipalities are spraying. Ordinary people, as I said, are 
dumping standing water out of their yard. We are doing our part in 
Florida. Now, it is time for Congress to act and do their part as well.
  Madam Speaker, yesterday I joined a bipartisan letter with Florida 
Republicans and Democrats who are asking for one simple thing: Give us 
a vote on a clean bill that would fully fund the fight against Zika. 
Give us a vote on a clean bill that would fully fund the fight against 
Zika.
  This is a public health emergency.
  Just as important, let's give scientists the certainty they need to 
research and develop a vaccine for Zika, and this could take several 
years. Prematurely cutting off resources before the vaccine is ready 
could be just as dangerous as not providing enough money today.
  I spoke with the scientists. As they develop vaccines, they go 
through different trial stages. Ethically, you can't start a vaccine 
study, ask people to participate, and then say: ``Never mind. Our 
funding has dried up. You are not going to be able to continue.'' That 
is not something that we could do.
  Our delegation has shown that Republicans and Democrats have come 
together on this issue, and I believe that the entire Congress can as 
well.
  There are Republicans and Democrats in States along the Gulf Coast--
Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana--who will come together and support full 
funding because their constituents are at risk, too.
  I am still holding out hope that Speaker Ryan will be able to support 
full funding to fight this deadly virus.
  Time is running out. It is time to put partisanship aside and vote on 
full funding to fight this horrific disease, Zika. We must all come 
together to make sure that the resources are there for mosquito control 
and for vaccine production.
  Mr. JOLLY. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, Ms. Graham. We are 
down to 4 or 5 minutes. We have two more speakers remaining.
  I yield to the gentleman from Pinellas County, Florida (Mr. 
Bilirakis).
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Madam Speaker, I agree with Representative Graham that 
we must fund this and we must fund a clean bill. Whatever it takes, 
Madam Speaker, we have to get this done as soon as possible.
  I have been focused on the growing problem of Zika since March, when 
the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Zika preparedness, 
and we have been working together in a bipartisan fashion to get this 
done.
  Zika is a unique problem that will only increase. As of the end of 
August, there were 2,686 cases of travel-associated Zika within the 
United States. These cases came from international travel where the 
individual acquired Zika abroad and discovered it when they returned to 
the United States.
  There have also been 35 cases of locally acquired mosquito-borne 
Zika. As a matter of fact, we have a nontravel-related case in our 
county, Pinellas County.
  There are 35 individuals who got Zika because a mosquito bit them 
within the United States. Because of this local transmission for the 
first time ever, we now have a CDC travel advisory about an area within 
the United States in the Miami area.
  If you expand the incidences of Zika to include the territories, 
there would be 14,059 cases of locally acquired infections of Zika. Mr. 
Speaker, this is a large amount. We must act now. The Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico has nearly 14,000 cases of locally acquired Zika. That 
number will only grow, unfortunately.
  624 women within the United States had Zika while pregnant, and 971 
women from the territories. We don't know the full impact that Zika 
will have on their infants. Already, CDC reports that 16 infants have 
been born with birth defects within the United States. I don't know how 
many more when we include the territories.
  Zika can cause microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby's head is 
smaller than expected when compared to other

[[Page H5217]]

babies. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might 
not have developed properly.
  People are really scared, Madam Speaker. We have to get this done in 
a bipartisan fashion.
  Not all babies who have been exposed to Zika while in utero, have 
been born with visible birth defects.
  However, we cannot say that they were born without any effect of 
Zika.
  It is possible that they may have delayed development.
  That's why I plan on introducing tomorrow, the Pregnant Women and 
Infants Zika Registry.
  This bill will establish a CDC registry program for pregnant women 
and will track infants up to age five, so that researchers can get a 
better understanding of the impact of Zika.
  This registry will collect information on pregnancy and infant 
outcomes following laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection during 
pregnancy.
  The data collected will be used to update recommendations for 
clinical care, to plan for services for pregnant women and families 
affected by the Zika virus, and to improve prevention of Zika virus 
infection during pregnancy.
  I invite all my fellow Floridians and fellow members to cosponsor 
this bill.
  It's a responsible tool to increase our knowledge of Zika and help 
increase the quality and standard of care for patients.
  Mr. JOLLY. Madam Speaker, we are about out of time. We have one last 
speaker.
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Madam Speaker, hopefully I get an opportunity to speak 
and continue tomorrow.


                             General Leave

  Mr. JOLLY. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and insert extraneous materials on the topic of this Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. JOLLY. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Jupiter, 
Florida (Mr. Murphy).
  Mr. MURPHY of Florida. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague and my 
friend (Mr. Jolly) for organizing this Special Order, for his 
leadership on this issue, and convening this important conversation on 
the need for immediate action to combat Zika.
  It is clear to us in Florida that Zika is not a partisan issue. It is 
about protecting our families and our children. Yet, 7 months after the 
World Health Organization declared an international public health 
emergency over Zika and the administration submitted its request for 
$1.9 billion in emergency funds to combat the virus, no bipartisan 
agreement has been reached to pass a bill providing the resources 
needed for this fight.
  As the number of Zika cases continues to grow across the Nation, 
including more than 50 local transmissions in Florida alone, this 
prolonged congressional inaction is unacceptable. That is why over a 
dozen members of Florida's congressional delegation are calling on 
congressional leaders to take immediate action on a clean Zika funding 
bill.
  I was proud to lead this bipartisan letter with Congressman Jolly, 
and I want to thank those Representatives who have joined us.
  Our hope is that the rest of Congress will work together like our 
delegation and treat this matter with the seriousness that it deserves, 
taking action needed to protect the American people and public health. 
That starts with ending the political posturing and dropping divisive, 
unrelated policy riders and immediately passing a clean funding bill to 
provide the resources necessary to fight Zika.
  This is an emergency, not an opportunity to be exploited to score 
points against Planned Parenthood or to weaken the Affordable Care Act. 
Congress' delay has only made the problem worse and more expensive as 
babies tragically born with microcephaly will require a lifetime of 
care.
  The need for emergency funding could not be more urgent given the CDC 
Director's recent statements that current Zika funding is nearly 
exhausted, so we must find the bipartisan cooperation. We must pass a 
clean bill and get this done immediately. The people of Florida deserve 
it.
  This is even after the extraordinary move of reallocating over $80 
million from research on Ebola, HIV, cancer, diabetes, and other 
chronic conditions to prioritize Zika efforts.
  Beyond the funding, we also need to make sure the scientists and 
researchers working on developing a Zika vaccine have the necessary 
tools to do just that.
  For example, during a recent visit to Scripps Florida, a leading 
research facility in my Congressional district, I heard from their Zika 
research team about the need for location-specific blood samples for 
their ongoing work.
  Additionally, we must make sure that states and local partners have 
the resources needed to implement and maintain world-leading mosquito 
control programs to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
  I am proud to have put forward the SMASH Act with my colleague, the 
gentleman from Florida, Mr. Clawson, who knows firsthand how important 
mosquito control districts are.
  The SMASH Act will support our local mosquito control districts to 
help fight the spread of Zika.
  Additionally, the bill provides grants to support the work of state 
and local health departments, our partners on the ground, for treating 
infectious diseases like Zika.
  To further bolster prevention, detection, and treatment efforts, 
Governor Scott should expand Medicaid in Florida.
  Up to one million Floridians could be newly covered if the governor 
would simply accept available federal dollars.
  These dollars would go directly to strengthening our public health 
and responding to Zika.
  This crisis requires collective action, with all levels of government 
working together on both immediate and long-term solutions to combat 
this virus.
  There are also a few simple steps Floridians can take to protect 
themselves.
  To prevent bites and the spread of mosquitoes, this includes wearing 
bug spray and draining standing water.
  Furthermore, it is important to remember that Zika can be sexually 
transmitted and the same safe sex practices that help prevent the 
spread of HIV will also prevent the spread of Zika.
  Zika and mosquitoes don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican.
  This is a serious health crisis that impacts all Americans.
  It is great to see growing bipartisan support in Congress to do the 
right thing, putting political posturing aside to move forward a clean 
funding bill to combat this virus and keep families safe.
  Again, I thank the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Jolly, and the rest of 
our delegation for showing the leadership needed to get this done and 
enlist Congress in the fight against Zika.
  Mr. JOLLY. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

                          ____________________