Congressional Gridlock Now A Matter of Life and Death for Houstonians
HOUSTON (Aug. 29, 2016) – House Republicans are playing with our lives when they play political games and refuse to fund Zika virus treatment and research.
Last year, we learned the Zika virus was on its way to America. In February, the President asked Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency funding for mosquito control, treatment, and development of a vaccine. House Republicans slashed that request by almost 50%, to $1.1 billion, and then, in August, left for a month-long vacation without passing the requested legislation or approving any funds for this critical effort. Not a penny!
An important aspect of this request is that, not only are Houston and Texas as a whole going to be hard-hit by Zika, but America’s leading Zika vaccine research is happening right here in our Texas Medical Center. Medically and financially, Houston has an enormous stake in this Congressional action (and inaction).
While the political blame game plays out in the papers and on TV, there are over 90 confirmed Zika cases in Texas, 30 in Harris County, and 2 dead babies—one here in Harris County.
The fact is that House Republicans, including John Culberson, control Congress and will not allow a vote on a “clean” Zika bill, without any adding unrelated provisions addressing displays of the confederate flag, amendments to the Clean Water Act, or unpopular restrictions on Planned Parenthood.
It is crystal clear which party puts political games ahead of our health and our babies’ health.
I am running for Congress because I am tired of our do-nothing Congress.
I am tired of watching the Republican House leadership play political games while mothers and their babies suffer and die from this terrible disease.
When political gridlock in faraway Washington, DC, threatens the lives of Houstonians right here and now, it’s no laughing matter and it’s not a game. It’s a matter of our elected officials not being responsible to the people who elected them. And, now, it’s also a matter of life and death.