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Rubio In Miami Today Urges President & Congress To End Political Gamesmanship On Zika
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today reiterated the need for immediate action to address the mosquito-borne Zika outbreak in South Florida. In Doral this morning, Rubio stressed the health and economic emergencies that Zika has caused in Florida and urged both the Obama Administration and Congress to provide emergency funds.
A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below:
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Media Availability On The Zika Virus
August 3, 2016
ON THE CDC’S TRAVEL ADVISORY AGAINST MIAMI’S WYNWOOD DISTRICT
Senator Marco Rubio: “[T]here is this unprecedented advisory for pregnant women to avoid the Wynwood district and that is rocking the community. We already have reports of small businesses who have closed, small businesses that have decided obviously because of the outdoor cafes to close until further notice, events have been canceled. So we are deeply concerned about that because it reminds us that Zika is not just a public health emergency, it’s also an economic one. We are very concerned about the impact this ultimately has on Florida’s tourism.”
ON CONGRESS’ NEED TO TAKE ACTION
Senator Marco Rubio: “I find it inexcusable, as I have said repeatedly, that Congress waited for months and did absolutely nothing. I find it unbelievable that an issue of this magnitude could become a political volleyball. I think both parties are to blame for this.”
ON ENDING THE EXCUSES AND JUST GETTING IT DONE
Senator Marco Rubio: “My message today is at this point the time for this political gamesmanship has to end. It’s over. We need to fund this as quickly as possible. And I hope that both parties will put this aside. I hope my colleagues around the country don’t continue to believe that this is not their issue; that this is something else far away. Because just as this happening in Miami-Dade County over this week, I believe it won’t be long before other jurisdictions, other states, and other communities in this state and in this country will face the same situation. So I hope this is a wakeup call for my colleagues and I reiterate my call for Congress to act quickly, whether it’s in pro forma, whether it’s returning to Washington and voting on this.”
ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SITTING ON ZIKA FUNDING
Senator Marco Rubio: “It is inexcusable that the President of the United States and this Administration is sitting on over $300 million that were repurposed from Ebola to Zika that remain unspent. By their own admission, at least $175 million of federal funds are immediately available to be spent, and I do not understand why that money isn’t being spent right now. Now, I don’t like to ascribe motives, but in this case I have to start wondering whether they are holding back on spending that federal money because they like making this a political issue that they can attack Republicans on. My point is, at this point it doesn’t matter. Spend the money you already have access to, don’t sit on that money. I also find it unbelievable that last week they dished out about $40 million but in Florida, the state directly impacted by this with 14 mosquito-borne infections, got $700,000.”
ON POTENTIAL SBA ASSISTANCE FOR IMPACTED WYNWOOD BUSINESSES
Senator Marco Rubio: “I am also going to be reaching out to the SBA, the Small Business Administration, and discussing how to put in place the ability to provide assistance to small business owners in the Wynwood area who might be negatively impacted by all this publicity and all this tension that’s being paid towards Wynwood, in particular some of the closures we have now seen.”