NPMA gives Zika funding update

|  July 18, 2016

U.S. CapitolEditor’s Note: The following is reprinted with permission from the July 15 edition of the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) Policy Week in Review newsletter:

After months of urging Congress to take action to combat the spread of the Zika virus, Congress left for an extended summer recess without any action. On Thursday H.R. 2577, the Appropriations Package that included $1.1 billion in funding for the Zika Virus, failed to overcome a procedural hurdle (52-44). The measure had previously passed the House of Representatives but needed Senate approval to be sent to President Obama’s desk. Both President Obama and Senate Democrats publically stated they would not approve the current Zika funding measure as presented due to political components of the package including: defunding parts of Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood and a controversial confederate flag provision.

After the failed vote, top Republican appropriators from both chambers sent a letter to President Obama urging the Secretary of Health and Human services to use their transfer authority of funds and reappropriate fiscal year 2016 funds for the Zika virus.

Also sending a letter to the President this week was Representative Bob Gibbs (R-OH), the sponsor of NPDES eliminating legislation, the Zika Vector Control Act H.R. 897. Rep. Gibbs sent a letter that urges the President to end a double standard and give the continental United States the same tools, deemed “the most important tool” by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The letter cited a recent advisory from the heads of EPA and CDC that encouraged Puerto Ricans to spray more pesticides to slow the spread of the Zika virus. NPMA continues to support Rep. Gibbs and other Congressional offices that continue to highlight the burdens of NPDES permits.

NPMA is disappointed that a final deal could not be reached, but we are continuing to highlight the importance of pest management in combatting the Zika virus. During the summer recess, NPMA will continue to work with state regulators and other industry allies to encourage funding through the appropriations process once Congress returns in September.

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