- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2014

House Speaker John A. Boehner says President Obama should consider a temporary ban on travel from countries afflicted with the Ebola virus as the United States continues to grapple with how to deal with the ongoing crisis.

Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, pointed to recent cases in Texas and the news that an individual who tested positive for the disease flew in recent days.

“A temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries afflicted with the virus is something that the president should absolutely consider along with any other appropriate actions as doubts about the security of our air travel systems grow,” Mr. Boehner said. “It is also imperative we ensure that federal, state and local agencies, along with our public health infrastructure, are prepared, remain vigilant, and follow proper protocols to identify the virus and take appropriate measures for those who have been exposed to it.”

Mr. Boehner pointed out that various House committees are already examining the administration’s response and said the House “stands ready to act” if it becomes clear legislation is necessary to confront the disease.

Top health officials are scheduled to testify before an Energy and Commerce subcommittee Thursday on the matter, but the administration has downplayed talk of a travel ban from West African countries most affected by the virus.

“The administration must be able to assure Americans that we will stop the spread here at home,” Mr. Boehner said. “We will continue to press the administration for better information about what steps will be taken to protect the American people, including our troops, from this deadly virus. And we will work with the administration on appropriate policy options that will help stop the spread of this horrific disease both here in the United States and around the globe.”

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