WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after House Republicans passed dishonest legislation they claimed would address the Zika crisis. In reality, their legislation attempts to undo environmental regulations under the Clean Water Act:
“Congress has a responsibility to address the Zika crisis with seriousness and strategy, not take advantage of it to try moving partisan legislation through the House. And yet that is what House Republicans are doing today as they try to cover up their own inadequate response to the Zika outbreak. The pesticides bill they brought to the Floor today is nothing but a Trojan horse, with practically nothing to do with Zika.
“This bill, originally called the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, was defeated under suspension last Congress, and it is yet another Republican attempt to undo protections that safeguard our environment and public health. To bring the same bill back to the Floor last week and again today, renamed with ‘Zika’ in the title, is one of the most egregious displays of dishonesty I’ve seen while serving in the House. It is an act that seeks to provide political cover for Republicans who refused to act on President Obama’s urgent request for funding to address the Zika outbreak in a serious way. House Republicans might as well bring this bill to the Floor and rename it the ‘Making Pesticides Great Again’ Act, because in truth it would remove virtually all federal oversight concerning the use of chemical pesticides to ensure they do not end up in our water supply.
“Instead of this partisan game of name-changing, Republicans ought to be working with Democrats to provide the Administration with the requested funding needed to develop a vaccine, make diagnostic testing available, and implement real vector control programs. Americans deserve a Congress that takes the Zika virus seriously and is ready to address it strategically and in a bipartisan way.”
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