Monday, May 30, 2016

ZIKA - Republican House Blocks Requested Funding

COMMENT:  It's what you can expect from Big-$Money owned Republican House where money is more important that people.  You see, in the Republican House, women are worth ONLY $622 million.

"What's behind biting political fight in Congress over Zika funding?" PBS NewsHour 5/24/2016


SUMMARY:  In February, the White House issued a $1.9 billion plan for combating Zika virus in the U.S., including provisions for mosquito control, education and research into a vaccine.  While GOP lawmakers opposed that plan, the Senate passed a bipartisan $1.1 billion compromise bill last week.  Judy Woodruff talks to Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., for more on the funding debate.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now to Capitol Hill and Washington's efforts to combat the Zika virus.

Back in February, the White House put together a $1.9 billion proposal aimed at mosquito control, education about Zika, plus boosting research into the virus and a possible vaccine.  Last week, the Republican-controlled Senate moved a compromise measure for less than two-thirds that amount over the next year, $1.1 billion.

But the also-GOP-controlled House signed off on a bill for $622 million over six months.

Joining me now from opposite sides of this funding divide are Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, and Representative Bob Gibbs, Republican from Ohio.

And we welcome both of you to the program.

Congressman Gibbs, let me begin with you.

The administration, as we said, asking for $1.9 billion.  The amount you favor is about a third that much.  Why not give the administration what it's asking for?

REP. BOB GIBBS (R), Ohio:  Well, what the administration did, that's just ongoing through the next — at least the next two mosquito seasons.

Our bill, at $600 million-plus, goes to the end of this fiscal year, September 30, and now we're in the appropriation process, and we will look at that, what we need to do past September 30 of this year going into the next fiscal year and the next mosquito season next summer.

So, we will be appropriating more money, I'm sure, but it's going to go through regular order and the regular appropriation process.  So, we're on board to make sure to appropriate the money as needed to get through to the end of this fiscal year.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, Congresswoman DeLauro, it sounds like this is a down payment on this problem.  Is that going to be enough?

REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), Connecticut:  Listen, no, the fact is, is the Zika virus is a public health emergency.  It is a crisis.

It is going to — the mosquitoes that carry the virus will hit the mainland United States within the next few weeks.  We are putting American women at risk, pregnant women who are fearful that their babies will be born with birth defects.

And we have a medical community that is telling women that maybe they shouldn't get pregnant.  That is not message to the American people.  The fact of the matter is, is that the $622 million is a third of what's been asked for.

You know, in this body, when we deal with appropriations for defense or going to war, my Republican colleagues will say, let us get the word from the generals, from those who are in the field, the experts.  They can tell us how much money they need.  And they can tell us how many troops we need.

Well, we do have experts in this war on the mosquitoes.  We have the Centers for Disease Control.  We have the National Institutes of Health.

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