House Republican to introduce Ebola travel ban legislation
© Greg Nash

Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossBiden faces lasting blemish from Afghanistan exit Biden needs a Middle East strategy to avoid new crises Biden ramps up pressure on Iran as it grapples with protests MORE (R-Fla.) said Thursday that he will introduce legislation to ban travel between the U.S. and West African countries afflicted by the Ebola outbreak.

Ross plans to unveil the bill when Congress comes back in session, which is expected to be on Nov. 12, after the midterm elections.

The measure would restrict granting visas to people departing from any country where the Ebola outbreak has reached "epidemic proportions." Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been hardest hit by the disease.


The ban would only be lifted when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declares that the Ebola outbreak has been contained.

The Florida Republican said that the spread of Ebola from a Liberian man who landed in Dallas to two nurses who cared for him was the last straw. The Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, died from the disease.

"Now that two of our healthcare workers have contracted the virus I am putting my foot down," Ross said in a statement. "This legislation is a more serious approach to preventing Ebola from further infiltrating our homeland."

The Obama administration has implemented additional Ebola screenings at five major U.S. airports, but Ross said those screenings were not enough.

“Airport security screening is a complete smoke and mirror approach to the virus and Americans aren’t buying it," he added.

Pressure has grown on the Obama administration to consider a travel ban on the West African countries in recent days, with many lawmakers, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), joining those calls.

The administration, though, is opposed to a ban, saying it would make the outbreak worse by hampering the movement of medical supplies and healthcare workers to devastated countries.

Ross called on Boehner to call the House back into session to debate his bill.

"I urge my colleagues to sign onto this legislation and hope Speaker Boehner will quickly call Congress back into session to debate my legislation," Ross said.

Congress has been out of session since Sept. 19.