Earlier today the House of Representatives failed to pass H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act, under Suspension of the Rules by a vote of 262 Yeas and 159 Nays. A two-thirds vote is required to pass any legislation under Suspension of the Rules.
ARA issued the following statement in support of the bill:
“We would like to thank Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) for his leadership and continuous efforts to address an important regulatory burden that directly compromises public health missions to combat Zika, West Nile, and other mosquito-borne viruses impacting communities. H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act would save state and local governments a significant amount of financial resources that could be better utilized towards pro-active mosquito control efforts rather than on duplicative regulations such as the NPDES Pesticide General Permit. ARA is extremely disappointed in the irresponsible and misleading efforts led by Rep. DeFazio (D-Ore.) that sought to downplay the adverse impact this harmful and costly permit has caused countless local communities across the country. The CDC admits no vaccines exists to prevent the Zika virus and the number one response planning tip to local health officials is a focus on vector control and surveillance.
It is clear that spraying EPA approved, safe and effective pesticides is the only way to aggressively address this pending health crisis, which can have a severe impact on pregnant women. It is disingenuous for those in Congress who claim there is not enough federal funding to control mosquitoes while they want to impose significant costs on state and local governments and local businesses spearheading the fight to protect public health with unnecessary permit requirements. ARA will continue to urge Congress to find ways to provide state and local governments and industry partners with the tools necessary to protect public health."