Florida Congressman Takes Mosquitoes to House Floor in Call for Zika Action

Rep. David Jolly wants Congress to pass Zika funding.

ByBENJAMIN SIEGEL
September 7, 2016, 1:54 PM

— -- Florida Rep. David Jolly wants Congress to approve funding to fight the Zika virus, and to show his commitment, he took a jar of mosquitoes onto the House floor today to get lawmakers buzzing into action.

"I rise with about 100 mosquitoes straight from Florida," he said, holding up a clear jar of Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae from the University of South Florida.

"This is the reason for the urgency," said Jolly, a Republican. "It is time to act."

Senate Democrats blocked Republicans' $1.1 billion Zika funding package from advancing Tuesday over concerns about the measure's restrictions on contraceptive funding for Planned Parenthood.

"The time for the politics of Zika is over. The politics of Zika are garbage right now," Jolly exclaimed.

He imagined setting loose the mosquitoes in the House chamber.

"Members of Congress would run down the hall to the physician's office to be tested," he said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., criticized Senate Democrats' vote Wednesday, calling on them to "drop" the politics.

"The House did its job, and the Senate has been blatantly political with Zika funding," he said.

Democrats want to pass a clean Zika funding bill, without the restrictions on funds for Planned Parenthood.

"Let's give the babies a break, Mr. Speaker. Let's pass this bill," Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a separate news conference, which featured a baby.

Jolly is running for re-election in a close race against former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as a Democrat.

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events