With scores of lawmakers calling for a travel ban, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) says he plans to introduce legislation to restrict all commercial flights from Ebola-stricken nations and deny visas to those with a travel itinerary from those counties.
“Now that two of our health care workers have contracted the virus I am putting my foot down,” Ross, the Senior Deputy Majority Whip, said Thursday. “This legislation is a more serious approach to preventing Ebola from further infiltrating our homeland. Airport security screening is a complete smoke and mirror approach to the virus and Americans aren’t buying it.”
Ross and 26 of his colleagues — including three Democrats — sent a letter to President Obama last week urging the Obama to institute travel restrictions in the wake of the ongoing Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The virus first made it to American shores last month via a single infected man and has since spread to at least two more people.
The White House has, to date, refused to impose any travel restrictions on the Ebola nations, despite many calls to consider one — including from House Speaker John Boehner.
Ross’ bill “Contain Ebola and Stop the Epidemic (CEASE) Act,” would only lift the restrictions once the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined Ebola to be contained.
“I feel that discontinuing air travel is an obvious first step solution to combating Ebola in the United States,” Ross said. “It’s frightening that our Commander in Chief presumes that Ebola will not spread in the United States and is only taking delicate precautions.”
Ross urged his House colleagues to sign on to the bill and Boehner to call the House back from recess to debate it.