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September 06, 2016

Aguilar Calls on House Republicans to Prioritize Legislation to Address Gun Violence and Zika Funding after 7 Week Recess

Today, Representative Pete Aguilar called on House Republicans to prioritize legislation that would reduce gun violence and allocate necessary funds to combat the threat of Zika as legislators return from a seven-week break. House Republicans adjourned for the summer recess at the end of July without addressing either of the critical issues affecting San Bernardino families and Americans across the nation.

“House Republicans’ inaction on these serious issues is unforgivable. We cannot ignore the escalating violence in our neighborhoods and the health threats growing in our communities. We have solutions here that are ready to go—it’s time for Congress to act,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “After a seven-week break, we should hope that House Republicans are finally ready to work. We cannot afford to wait any longer while House Republicans play political games—there are lives at stake.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), between Memorial Day and Labor Day, more than 4,100 Americans were killed from gun-related homicides and incidents, and there was a reported daily average of 44 deaths and 93 injuries. This year alone, there have been 47 homicides in the City of San Bernardino, which surpassed last year’s figure of 44 that included the 14 people killed during the December 2nd Inland Regional Center attack.

Before adjourning for the summer recess in July, House Republicans refused to pass a comprehensive funding bill to adequately combat Zika, which has now left the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strapped for funds to address the growing threat. As of last week, there were over 2,700 reported cases of Zika in the United States, which includes over 600 pregnant women. Several weeks ago, scientists found mosquitos carrying the virus in Miami, which resulted in a historic CDC travel warning to those traveling in the area. This summer, mosquitos capable of carrying Zika were found in Colton. Nearly 200 people in California have been diagnosed with Zika, including 30 people in San Bernardino County.

Rep. Aguilar has been a fierce advocate for commonsense solutions to end gun violence and was a resounding voice for action during the House sit-in to demand votes on related legislation. In June, Rep. Aguilar also visited the San Bernardino County Vector Control Facility, which monitors mosquitoes in the area that may be carriers of the Zika virus and West Nile virus. He has been urging House Republicans to prioritize concerns like gun violence and Zika, which are affecting America’s working families in San Bernardino County and throughout the nation.