Saturday, October 18, 2014

Texas lawmakers to introduce Ebola travel ban legislation

By Jesse Byrnes

Two Texas Republican lawmakers plan to introduce legislation banning travel between the U.S. and Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa.

The Friday announcement from Reps. Kenny Marchant and Sam Johnson was made the same day the White House disclosed President Obama would appoint Democratic operative Ron Klain to oversee the interagency response to Ebola.

Marchant said the U.S. is "behind the curve" for combatting the spread of the deadly virus and called the pair's bill, dubbed the Stop Ebola Act, a "proactive approach" to preventing more cases of Ebola in the U.S.

“We have both called on the President for travel and visa restrictions from Ebola-affected countries, but he is refusing to listen to the American people and do the right thing," Johnson said in a statement.

The legislation will halt travel visas for non-U.S. citizens heading to the U.S. from countries combatting the virus, including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and would apply to any country that has an Ebola outbreak in the future, based on World Health Organization designations.