Vote Explanation for H.R. 897 — Zika Vector Control Act

This week, I voted against the Zika Vector Control Act, a bill that is in no way better than when it came before the House last week and failed.

The intent of this bill is as false as its name, which was was recently changed from the “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2014.” The renaming of the legislation demonstrates what is really going on here: House Republicans are politicizing the Zika Virus epidemic while trying to fulfill one of their other priorities, defunding the EPA.

Rather than addressing the Zika health crisis, the Zika Vector Control Act would remove the current permitting process that ensures the oversight of pesticide discharge into rivers and streams. It would exempt pesticide spraying from the currently required permit.

I am voting against this bill because I strongly support the Clean Water Act, which protects our rivers, lakes, and streams from all contaminants, including pesticides. With nearly two thousand U.S. waterways already polluted by pesticides, Congress should be preventing the further pollution of our waters, not passing bills that would open the door to further degradation.