WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after again voting against a partisan measure that fails to combat the public health threat posed by the Zika virus in a responsible way and failed to advance last month.
“The Senate is set to adjourn today for its longest recess in 60 years and, meanwhile, the American people face the potential of an unprecedented public health crisis from the Zika virus. The last vote we took today was on a piece of legislation that includes poison pill riders that fly in the face of the efforts we should put in place to protect our citizens from this deadly virus. It is deeply frustrating that my Republican colleagues would once again insist on putting partisanship ahead of efforts to protect the people of this country. In the two weeks that have passed since that first failed vote, my Republican colleagues have made no efforts to find a principled, bipartisan solution that prepares us to combat Zika without creating other health and funding crises we’ll be forced to address down the road.
“The American people are understandably worried about the threats posed by Zika, especially pregnant women and people who want to start a family, and they’re looking to Congress to put politics aside and address this threat in a responsible way. Today’s vote is a disappointing demonstration of partisanship taking priority over prevention, and it’s downright irresponsible in the face of this crisis. I remain optimistic, however, that my Republican colleagues will return to Washington in September with a sense of urgency to address the Zika virus and a renewed commitment to protect our families from this threat to their health.”