Sen. Lankford pressed POTUS about Zika response funding

Sen. Lankford pressed POTUS about Zika response funding

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are pressing the Obama Administration on why it appears that billions of dollars in unobligated funds aren't being directed to a Zika response.

"We urge you to act and use funding available to ensure our nation is prepared," Lankford and Grassley wrote to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Lankford and Grassley noted that the Administration has been slow to distribute $589 million left from the Ebola threat toward fighting Zika. At the beginning of Fiscal Year 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services retained $25.426 billion in unobligated balances, and the department is expected to have $20.996 billion at the end of Fiscal Year 2016, Lankford and Grassley wrote.

The senators also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) have not responded to the slow distribution of Zika prevention funds.

"…Explain why this administration seems to be caught flat-footed in the response to this outbreak. After all, it is the mission of CDC and ASPR to protect the American people against such situations," Lankford and Grassley wrote.

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