WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) today released the following statement after voting in favor of the conference report on the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon/VA) Appropriations Act and the Zika Prevention and Response Act:
“I’m disappointed that my colleagues would stand in the way of passage of critical appropriations for Military Construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as emergency funding to combat the Zika virus.
“As we honor and celebrate our nation’s independence, we are reminded of the promises made to our servicemembers and veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. This legislation includes funding that works to provide quality care for our veterans through reforms to improve claims processing, support for veterans’ caregiver services, homeless veterans’ assistance, added whistleblower protections, and the construction of military hospitals and health facilities.
“Additionally, it is imperative that we work to treat and prevent the spread of the Zika virus. This emergency provision will provide additional funding to the Centers for Disease Control, and incentivizes manufacturers to develop vaccines and treatments for the virus. The legislation will also boost mosquito control by removing layers of bureaucracy so our local communities can more efficiently and effectively tackle this problem.
“Finally, this legislation includes necessary accountability measures to ensure fiscal responsibility and effective oversight of the taxpayer funds spent to address this important public health issue. I urge my Democratic colleagues to put politics aside and work with us to pass this these critical measures.”
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