Congressional Republicans Skimp On Zika, Gorge On Military Waste
This morning, I wrote about how Republicans in the House of Representatives are refusing to give the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases the $1.9 billion medical experts say they need to combat the spread of the Zika virus into the United States.
The Zika virus causes permanent deformities in babies, leading them to be born with microcephaly – shrunken heads. These babies often survive, but they lead lives of misery. They can’t recover from the effects of Zika.
The Zika virus is now in the United States, and it’s spreading, carried by mosquitos and sexual contact. The Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are scrambling to deal with the health emergency, taking funds that are supposed to be used to deal with other deadly and devastating diseases.
Congressional Republicans are insisting that they will only provide a fraction of the funding to fight Zika that medical experts say is necessary. Back in February, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan promised to take a bipartisan approach to work with the Obama Administration to provide funding for anti-Zika medical research, but instead of bipartisanship, Ryan instead has directed legislation to withhold two-thirds of the anti-Zika funds.
Paul Ryan has said that he supported legislation to eliminate most of the funding to fight Zika because it’s important to spend money frugally. However, today, Paul Ryan’s Republican proxies in the House Appropriations Committee approved $517.1 billion in discretionary military spending.
There is no invasion of the United States for the military to repel.
All that medical experts asked for to fight Zika was $1.9 billion. That’s just about one third of one percent of the money Paul Ryan wants to spend on the military.
Are we really supposed to believe that Paul Ryan can’t find the money to fight the Zika virus, but can find the money to keep funding wasteful military projects, such as the F-35, a military airplane that has cost taxpayers $1.58 TRILLION, but still doesn’t work?
No, this isn’t about money. It’s about moral values.
Paul Ryan and his Republican followers care less about the Zika virus than they care about funneling big money to powerful corporations that have profitable contracts with the Pentagon.