Saturday, October 4, 2014

As it Happened One Month Ago: GOP Cut Spending On Ebola Fight in Half, Then pretended it didn't happen

Ebola Treatment Unit, Liberia.

A very interesting thing happened about a month ago as Congress was asked to provide funding to fight Ebola, you know the biggest immediate threat to world health these days.

As usual the GOP took out the paring knife er ok the chopping ax, sliced off over half the funding the WH requested for fighting Ebola, now recognized as the biggest new threat to life and health in the world.  (Vaccination gaps and hunger being such old news anymore that no one pays attention.)

But wait, though Hill reporter's sources said that Republicans cut an $88 millions request down to $40 million on Tuesday September 9th, by Thursday September 11, GOP leaders were demanding a retraction saying they never attempted to reduce Ebola funding.

In case the Hill report is deleted or blocked to search engines to cover tracks here is it's entirety from

House Republicans indicated Tuesday that they will provide less than half of the White House's funding request to fight Ebola in the next government spending bill.

According to a source familiar with the negotiations, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) agreed as of Tuesday morning to spend a total of $40 million to fight the epidemic in the 2015 spending bill.

This would include $25 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $15 million for the Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to ramp up production of an experimental anti-Ebola drug, the source said.

The White House had asked for $88 million for Ebola in total, including $58 million for BARDA, which is involved in coordinating experimental treatments during public health emergencies.

A spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee would not confirm the numbers, saying the details of the bill are not yet finalized.

The funding fight comes amid desperate cries for help fighting Ebola from health workers in West Africa and institutions like the United Nations.

CDC Director Thomas Frieden says the epidemic is spiraling out of control and needs immediate attention from lawmakers and officials around the world.

The death count in West Africa exceeded 2,000 people this week.

The House is expected to vote on a stopgap government funding bill on Thursday. The measure would keep the government open through Dec. 11.
UPDATE: The continuing resolution released Tuesday night ultimately included the full $88 million requested by the White House.

A spokeswoman for the Appropriat
ions Committee said Thursday that reports Rogers had initially limited the funding were inaccurate.
—This post was updated Thursday at 2:25 p.m.

Original at The Hill: GOP cuts funding request to fight Ebola

Picture at top used via Creative Commons License Attribution (CC by 2.0) thanks to Flickr user CDC Global who has no connection to this blog or blogger.

Maybe negotiations were made behind closed doors to take more out of food stamps for poor families (including many armed service members' and their loved ones) instead of the pathetic request for money for the fight against the biggest emergency disease threat to human life on the planet this year.

BTW, was it this GOP spokeswoman?