Zika: Conservatives should be prepared to hold the line

Since last week, the House and Senate have been engaged in formal conference committee negotiations over the chambers’ respective Zika response and MilCon-VA packages. Reports indicate the the final compromise product could come this week, and the House already has a vote scheduled.

To recap: The House bill (H.R. 5243) contained $622 million in fully-offset fund transfers to combat Zika, while the Senate bill (H.R. 2577) contained $1.1 billion, none of which was offset, and which included their FY17 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill. The chambers went to conference using H.R. 2577 as the vehicle, and the House, as part of H.Res.751, included the combined text of their Zika response, MilCon-VA bill (H.R. 4974), and the Zika Vector Control Act (H.R. 897). As such, the conference agreement will likely produce compromise legislation covering both Zika and MilCon-VA.

As Heritage wrote back in May, it is clear from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and other sources that the Administration already has more than enough funds to combat Zika through the end of the Fiscal Year. This despite questionable spending by the NIH and CDC on other priorities. As Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) pointed out, the NIH has been complaining about lack of funding to combat Ebola, yet they spent $35 million on dubious studies. Even worse, as Senator James Lankford (R-OK) points out, the Obama Administration diverted money Congress had appropriated for infectious diseases to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund as part of its Paris Protocol agreement.

Still, Zika is a threat that should be taken seriously, and Congress clearly feels compelled to act to grant the Administration more resources to combat the disease. While the House originally acted in a responsible manner by re-prioritizing and transferring existing funds, it is clear that the Senate is trying to pressure the House into accepting all or most of its irresponsible approach, which Heritage Action key voted against back in May. The House should refuse to give in on its demand that all Zika funding be fully offset. Even a partially offset bill would be irresponsible, especially considering the Administration’s misguided funding priorities, its lack of responsiveness to Congress about its funding request, and the fact that funds are already available to be used to combat Zika.

What’s worse, if the conference committee comes back with un-offset spending, conservatives in the House and Senate will likely be faced with the having to vote against both the Zika package and funding for MilCon-VA. Such logrolling alone is unseemly and should give conservatives pause on any package coming out of negotiations.

In conclusion: Conservatives should demand that the House stick to its approach of fully offsetting any funding for Zika. They should also oppose efforts to combine emergency Zika funding into a larger package that includes MilCon-VA appropriations.

Please Share Your Thoughts

14 thoughts on “Zika: Conservatives should be prepared to hold the line

  1. Any Zika funding must be offset by money that we already will have. We should not borrow money to pay for combating Zika.

  2. Those voting should not vote on ANYTHING until they get Obama out of office, and Keep Clinton from getting in….voting for Zika is like opening the flood gates….everybody downs because we just keep letting these people in or allow them to go to those countries that have this crap.

  3. It seems to be another hyped hysteria. I read an article early on that stated the government of Brazil forced pregnant women to get the Zika vaccination–so where did that alert go! Never let a hype go to waste is their motto. There was one case brought back to the United States the same time as the article was written, then within a few days, literally, there was an epidemic. Does not take a brain surgeon to figure that one out!

    • I believe that it is the ole shell game. “The issue is never the issue.” DVD: Agenda 2, Masters of Deceit

  4. The first thing the administration did when they knew funds were going to be approved is immediately start wasting the money on things like zika coloring books.

  5. Pingback: Obama Pushes Congress on Zika Money, but Questions Loom on Administration’s Response | Western Free Press

  6. Stop using money for refugees, we cannot support the world. It would save us a lot of money if we had helped them in their nation not bring them here in America. Obahma is doing this because he is a Muslim and wants to turn America into a Muslim nation. We all know that Muslims hates Christians. What happened in Florida is just the beginning. God help us but the worse is yet to come.

  7. Pingback: Obama Pushes Congress on Zika Money, but Questions Loom on Administration’s Response | Drawnlines Politics

  8. Zika Virus and the money spent overseas that be going towards Our Veterans Post Care and Our Nations Roads and Bridges and Infrastructure. Some roads in Illinois just the pot holes alone does damage to vehicles, but there are bridges that are scary to drive on and some driving under them is Just As Bad!!!! We need to start focusing on A USA and Let The Others Take Care And Themselves!!! We Can No Longer Be The Parents For Everyone Else!

  9. The Federal Government need to stop wasting money and treat our funds better than they would do their own funds. We are so far in the RED now so how can there be money to spend on this?

  10. And . . . THIS, my friends, is the exact reason that DC is a dysfunctional mess! Each piece of legislation should have a title that reflects the body of the bill. It should pertain to ONE subject matter instead of containing various nuts and bolts that don’t relate to each other. So, the next time you hear that your favorite R or D voted against veterans or infrastructure, you will understand that with the current structure of legislation – sometimes you vote NO – to vote YES. We can’t truly comprehend the dollar amount, but we can see that the process is pure insanity!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *