Filemon Vela

From the office of:

Filemon Vela

Sending Office: Honorable Filemon Vela
Sent By:
Request for Signature(s)

*This is a NOT a programmatic request and Members will NOT be required to submit online*

*Letter will be provided directly to the Appropriations Committee*

Support Funding for all Agencies Tasked with Addressing the Zika Virus in Fiscal Year 2018

Deadline Extended to COB on Thursday, April 27th

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in expressing support for Zika funding in the FY 2018 Appropriations bill.  The Zika Response and Preparedness Appropriations Act represented a critical investment in efforts to address this disease; however, maintaining this support is crucial as our communities continue fighting Zika.

Continuing robust funding for the National Institutes Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Agency for International Development is critical to achieve our goals of containing, curtails, and developing a vaccine for the Zika virus.

To date there have been more than 5,000 cases of individuals infected by the Zika virus reported in the United States, with more than 200 of them acquired through local transmission.  In the U.S. territories there have been over 38,000 cases of persons infected with Zika through local transmissions.  However, these figures only represent the cases reported. In reality, the number of individuals infected is likely much higher.  To protect the health of our local communities and our nation as a whole, we must ensure that agencies tasked with leading this fight have the resources required.

If you have questions or would like to sign on to the letter below, please contact Luke Theriot with Rep. Vela at or Emmanuel Saaverda with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen at


Filemon Vela                                                              Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress




April 27, 2017


The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen                                  The Honorable Nita Lowey

Chairman                                                                                Ranking Member

Committee on Appropriations                                                Committee on Appropriations

H-305, The Capitol                                                                 1016 Longworth HOB

Washington, DC 20515                                                           Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey:

We respectfully request that you fund programs to address the Zika virus when you mark up the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill. As you are aware, last year Congress approved $1.1 billion in emergency funding to help to fight and contain the Zika virus.

Zika is an arbovirus that has affected more than 43,000 individuals in the United States. The Zika virus poses many health risks to the population, but particularly to pregnant women.  Although the symptoms of those affected may seem mild, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have found a correlation between Zika and babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect that causes abnormal brain development and death. Additionally, scientists have also determined that Zika can cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, a very rare neurological syndrome that can lead to paralysis in adults.

The crucial funding that Congress has provided for Zika response and preparedness has allowed agencies such as the CDC, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support cutting edge research, vaccine trials, mosquito control and surveillance, preventative education at local health centers, and more.

While these efforts have led to significant breakthroughs, more work is required to be able to achieve our goal of effectively treating those affected, containing and preventing future outbreaks, and developing a vaccine for this virus. As you craft FY 2018 appropriations legislation, we urge you to continue supporting Zika research and prevention. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, HealthCare, Homeland Security