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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

 
Just build a wall with yuuuuge mosquito net on top

by digby

















Somebody ought to tell the Republicans that a terrible person named Zika wants to take away their semi-automatic weapons so they'll agree to appropriate funds to combat the zika virus. That's the only "emergency" they seem to think is worth paying attention to. Luckily, they appear to be slowly coming to the realization that a virus passed by mosquitoes which causes horrendous birth defects might be worth doing something about. Up until now they've been saying that the administration should take some money from other efforts to combat deadly diseases. We don't have money for every deadly disease out there you know! There are priorities, people!

Something seems to have shifted a bit at least in the Senate, thank God:


Senate Republicans are preparing to relent on a major portion of President Barack Obama’s emergency request to respond to the Zika virus.

Republicans are drafting a more than $1 billion emergency plan, according to a Republican familiar with the matter, which could be attached to another appropriations bill in a committee as soon as Thursday. The person expects the package to have Democratic support.

A senior Republican aide, however, said the administration’s revised request, which was issued Monday, is still being examined and no final determination has been made about what will be included and where it will move.

The White House, which has requested $1.9 billion in additional spending, has stepped up its campaign to secure the funding, warning that additional emergency efforts are needed to prevent a larger outbreak of the virus.

"Republicans in Congress have done little to nothing to address this issue for the last two months," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. "And the opportunity to get ahead of this potentially serious situation is washing away."

House Republicans have been reluctant to approve any emergency spending, with some arguing the needs can be met by tapping unused funding for the Ebola virus and that additional money can be provided through the regular spending bill process.

Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday "there is a sense of urgency" to act, but he blamed the White House for not answering all of the questions lawmakers have about the request.

"When we get sufficient answers to those questions, then we’ll take sufficient action," Ryan said.


Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the U.S. Agency for International Development, separately said he would be backing that portion of the supplemental spending request from the administration as part of an overall supplemental measure "soon."

"I’m going to work with the committee to do an emergency supplemental" for USAID, Graham said.

"They’ve already got some money from the Ebola account so we’re not going to pay twice, but I think we’ll meet their needs."

Graham said he supports other pieces of the Zika spending request as well, although maybe not the full amount.

"I believe it’s a real problem and I’d like to address it," he said.

Big of Graham to call it a real problem, but really there's no hurry. If we play our cards right, and Trump's elected, between banning mosquitoes from entering the country and building a really, really high wall, we can protect Americans from this foreign invasion,  amirite?

Ryan is still being held hostage by his freedom caucus people who simply don't want to do anything the president requests, even if it means that thousands of babies will be born with hideous birth defects. And even the Senate seems to think it's no biggie. Why spend money on prevention when we don't know for sure how many babies are going to be born with extremely small heads? Besides, we need to concentrate on what's important. Like tax cuts for millionaires.

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