Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) is joining the chorus of Texas Republicans in Washington accusing President Obama of holding back millions of dollars that the say could be immediately used to combat the Zika virus. U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with the rest of the members of Texas’ GOP congressional delegation, signed a joint letter on Friday, demanding the Obama administration free up around $400 million of a $589 million re-purpose of health program funds meant to go towards Zika virus response.

In the letter, Republican lawmakers expressed their “serious concerns” over the administration’s lack of allocating the money.

Here’s an excerpt of the letter:


Zika letter to obama


Gov. Abbott followed suit of his Republican counterparts Friday afternoon, and also sent a letter to President Obama.

Abbott said it was imperative the federal government act now to free up whatever money is available to combat Zika.


Abbott Letter to Obama


The battle in Congress over funding for the country’s response to the mosquito-borne virus reached a stalemate earlier this summer. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers recessed without approving any of the $1.9 billion President Obama requested earlier this year to help develop a vaccine and control mosquitoes that carry the virus.

In a press conference on Thursday, President Obama chided Washington lawmakers over not passing a Zika funding bill before recessing for seven weeks.

“Congress needs to do its job,” President Obama said.

“Fighting Zika costs money. Helping Puerto Rico deal with its Zika crisis costs money. Researching new vaccines, and by the way NIH just announced the first clinical trials in humans, that costs money. That’s why my administration proposed an urgent request for funding back in February. Not only did the Republican-led Congress not pass our request, they worked to cut it. And then they left for summer recess without passing any new funds for the fight against Zika. Meanwhile, our experts at the NIH and CDC, the folks on the front lines, have been doing their best to make do my moving funds from other areas. But now the money that we need to fight Zika is rapidly running out. The situation is getting critical.”