- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An easel and a chart or two just weren’t good enough for Rep. David Jolly of Florida on Wednesday, who brought a jar of about 100 mosquitoes to the House floor on Wednesday to highlight the perils of the Zika virus in his home state.

Mr. Jolly, a Republican, said they were the type of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that tend to carry the virus, though they weren’t active carriers.

The congressman said labs at places like the University of South Florida, which bred the insects as part of its Zika research, need money from Congress to continue their work, though lawmakers are deadlocked over the path forward.

“The politics of Zika are garbage right now,” he said.

Mr. Jolly said President Obama’s $1.9 billion plan went beyond what was needed to combat the disease, which can lead to birth defects in infants born to infected mothers.

Meanwhile, a $1.1 billion compromise that takes $750 million from other health accounts remains stalled in the Senate, where Democrats filibustered over GOP-favored provisions in the plan.

Mr. Jolly said folks back home are getting anxious, so something has to be done.

“We are wasting time. That is why I’m joined by these mosquitoes today,” said Mr. Jolly, who is locked in a re-election fight against former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who later switched his affiliation to Democrat.

Florida has counted 56 cases of locally acquired Zika virus in two neighborhoods around Miami and isolated spots elsewhere in the state.

More than 2,700 travelers from the states and D.C. have been infected abroad, while mosquitoes have spread the virus to more than 14,000 people in the U.S. territories, mainly in Puerto Rico.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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