Transportation

List: Lawmakers backing travel ban

 

Pressure is building on President Obama to ban flights from West African nations that are battling Ebola, as concerns mount about the disease spreading within the United States.

Administration officials have resisted a flight ban thus far, arguing it would make it harder to deliver relief supplies to the countries where the virus is running rampant.

{mosads}But lawmakers, in growing numbers, are pushing Obama to reverse course, and polls show the idea has strong public support.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says a flight ban is something the president should consider, adding that he already has the authority needed to put such restrictions in place.

“The president has the authority to take this action right now. The House will continue to conduct rigorous oversight, which, along with discussions with our members, will help inform our path forward as we continue to assess the administration’s response,” Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said.

Here’s a look at where lawmakers stand on the travel ban. (Check back often, this list will be updated. Please send tips/feedback to klaing@thehill.com.)

— This story was last updated on Oct. 21 at 4:04 p.m.

LAWMAKERS IN FAVOR OF TRAVEL BAN

House (74 total; 65 Republicans, nine Democrats)

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) — Barletta said Oct. 15 that the Obama administration should “enforce a ban on inbound travelers originating in countries affected by the growing Ebola outbreak.”

Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.)

Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) — Barrow said Oct. 16 a travel ban “is basic, with no real unmanageable consequences, and just makes too much common sense not to do.” 

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) — Boustany said Oct. 16 “all options must be on the table, including short-term limitations on flights into the United States from at-risk countries, until we can get the spread of this disease under control.” 

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) — Brooks signed an Oct. 15 letter with other lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) — Burgess said Oct. 16 he supports a floor vote on the issue.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) — Byrne said Oct. 16 “a travel ban would help to halt new cases of Ebola from entering our country and allow our medical community to focus on stopping the spread based on the current cases.”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) 

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.)

Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.) 

Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.)

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.)

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) — Duncan signed an Oct. 15 letter with other lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) — Duncan said Oct. 14, “[T]he president should immediately ban travelers who originated from countries where there is an Ebola outbreak from entering the United States until this threat has passed.” 

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.)

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) 

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) 

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) — Forbes said Oct. 16, “[T]he U.S. government needs to immediately implement temporary travel restrictions to and from the West African countries experiencing Ebola outbreaks.” 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) 

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.)

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.)

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) — Harris said Oct. 16 “[T]he Administration should impose some level of travel ban pending the creation of protocols that will protect healthcare workers and all Americans.” 

Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.)

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) — Hudson signed an Oct. 15 letter with other lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) 

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) 

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) — Jones tweeted Oct. 3, “[T]here needs to be a travel ban on non-citizens coming into the US from Ebola-stricken countries. It’s common sense.”

Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio)

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) — King signed an Oct. 15 letter with other lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) — Lamborn said Oct. 16 he is in favor of a “temporary civilian travel ban” enforced by “revoking all visas for the countries currently struggling with Ebola.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) 

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)

Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.)

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) — McCaul is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) — McMorris Rodgers is chairwoman of the House GOP conference. 

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.)

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) — Miller signed an Oct. 15 letter with other lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) — Moore Capito is running for the Senate seat that is being vacated by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) at the end of the year. 

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) — Murphy said temperature checks at airports would not be enough to stop Ebola.

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.)

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) — Peters is in a tough reelection race against former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) 

Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.)

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) — Rahall is one of the most endangered Democratic incumbents in the House.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.)— Ross said Oct. 16 he would file a bill.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) — Royce said Oct. 16 that Secretary of State John Kerry should suspend the issuance of visas to non-U.S. citizens who are attempting to travel from West African countries. 

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.)

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) — The House majority whip said he supports a travel ban during a post-hearing press conference on Oct. 16.

Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) — Scott said on Oct. 14 flights to West Africa should be banned “until we get our arms around the situation.”

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) — Shea-Porter is facing a challenge from former Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.). 

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) — Shuster said a flight ban would be “reasonable and timely” in an Oct. 15 letter.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.)

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas)

Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.)

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas)

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) — Westmoreland said Oct. 16 he joins “many of my colleagues in requesting a travel ban that includes screening of visas from countries where the outbreak is occurring, specifically West Africa.” 

Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas)

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

 

Senate (15 total; 13 Republicans, two Democrats)

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — Cruz said a travel ban is “common sense.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) 

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) — Hagan is in a closely watched battle for reelection. 

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) 

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — McConnell, who is up for reelection, said Oct. 15 “it would be a good idea to discontinue flights from that part of the world.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) — Nelson wrote a letter to Kerry calling for a temporary flight ban until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clears West African travel.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) — Roberts called Oct. 14 for “an immediate travel ban from countries in West Africa currently ravaged by the deadly virus.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — Rubio said Oct. 16 “the State Department should institute a temporary ban on new visas to non-U.S. nationals seeking to travel to the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.” 

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) — Vitter said Oct. 16 that President Obama should fire CDC Director Tom Frieden and “put someone strong and competent in charge, and impose travel restrictions into the U.S. — all immediately.” 

 

LAWMAKERS AGAINST TRAVEL BAN

House (13 total, all Democrats)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) 

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) — Cuellar said he’s “pleased” with the administration’s strategy of screening travelers and evaluating healthcare protocols to combat Ebola for now. He added that he is leaving all options on the table, and would support a ban down the line if he thought it was necessary. 

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) — Ellison tweeted Oct. 16 that a travel ban would be a “bad idea” because it “stops health care workers critical to fighting Ebola [and] encourages people to lie about travel.” 

Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) — Green said he supports “the work the administration is doing right now” to rein in the disease. 

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) — Jackson Lee said U.S. officials should focus their efforts on enhanced health screenings.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) — Matheson said Oct. 16 he is leaning against supporting a travel ban. He said, “[I]f you do an outright ban, you’re going to have people start avoiding traditional travel channels to move from country to country, and you can’t monitor that at all.”

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) — Moore said a travel ban “will only exacerbate the epidemic.”

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) — Sarbanes said Oct. 16, “[A]t this point, I’m going to follow the guidance that’s being provided by the experts and by the scientists.” 

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) — Schakowsky said Oct. 16, “[W]e can eliminate flights, but I don’t think we can eliminate people from coming here. … Do we really want to essentially quarantine West Africa so that people have a hard time coming or going? … We cannot build a wall around the United States.”

Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) 

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) — Waxman said Oct. 16, “[The ban] doesn’t make sense because that’s not the biggest problem we need to deal with, keeping people from traveling. We’ve got to stop the epidemic [by taking steps] to identify the people with Ebola, isolate them, find the people who have been exposed to them, and track them very carefully, whether that’s in Africa or in the United States.”

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) — Welch said Oct. 16, “Congress is now apparently made up of 435 doctors. We ought to be taking the advice of the medical community. … And the medical community — including Doctors Without Borders — are much more in favor of restrictions and monitoring as being more effective than a ban, which has psychological appeal but, by experience, doesn’t work as well.”

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) — Yarmuth said Oct. 16, “I’m not quite sure I’m there yet. I understand the rationale from the administration for opposing it. I think I’d like to get a little bit more information.”

 

Senate (One total, Democrat)

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)    

Tags Alan Grayson Andy Barr Bill Nelson Boehner Cathy McMorris Rodgers Charles Boustany Chris Coons Chuck Grassley David Vitter Gene Green Gwen Moore James Inhofe Jay Rockefeller Jim Matheson John Barrow John Boehner John Fleming John Kerry John Thune John Yarmuth Johnny Isakson Kay Hagan Lou Barletta Louie Gohmert Marco Rubio Mark Kirk Marsha Blackburn Matt Salmon Michael Burgess Mike Johanns Mitch McConnell Nick Rahall Pat Roberts Paul Gosar Peter Welch Randy Forbes Roger Williams Roy Blunt Sam Johnson Saxby Chambliss Scott Garrett Sheila Jackson Lee Shelley Moore Capito Stephen Fincher Steve Stockman Susan Brooks Ted Cruz Ted Yoho Tulsi Gabbard

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