Harry Reid is not impressed!
Yesterday House Republicans introduced the long awaited Zika Bill in which they pledged $622 million to fight the Zika virus this year. The House GOP also says the entire thing will be fully paid for through the unspent money that was meant for fighting the Ebola outbreak a year ago. On the surface, the House GOP’s appropriations plan to fight the Zika virus looks to be solid! But there is one problem…
While $622 million may sound like a lot of money, it’s important to remember that President Obama originally asked Congress for $1.9 billion to effectively fight the Zika virus. The House Republicans barely gave him a third of the amount that he originally asked for!
However if you were to ask the House GOP for their reasoning, they would tell you this wasn’t the first time President Obama has asked for “blank check” to throw money at a situation. In their reasoning, the House GOP wants a more detailed summery of how the Obama administration plans to use the money to fight the Zika virus. So based on that logic, the $622 million is just a starting point.
Now whether you believe the House GOP actually wants more accountability for the money being appropriated to fight the Zika virus (good thing) or that it’s just the House GOP being their usual legislative impending selves (bad thing) is up for debate. But as you may have guessed, Democrats aren’t too pleased by the House GOP’s proposed amount.
On the #Senate floor, Leader Reid calls Sen. Murray's Zika proposal "beyond reckless."
— Drew Brandewie (@DBrandewie) May 16, 2016
When deciding how much money to fight Zika, it's simple: let's listen to what public health experts say they need. pic.twitter.com/kYp8BoY7XK
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) May 16, 2016
While most Democrats think the $622 million isn’t even close to being an adequate amount to fight the Zika virus, they aren’t exactly against the House GOP’s bill either. Considering Congress currently has a Republican majority, $622 million is better than no funding. It’s important to note however that the House GOP bill isn’t the only Zika legislation moving through Congress.
Currently as the $622 million appropriations bill makes its way through the House, there also happens to be a $1.1 billion Senate bill on fighting the Zika virus that is scheduled to be voted on this week. What’s even more interesting there are some Republicans in the Senate that actually support President Obama’s $1.1 billion estimate.
While it’s still too early to say how this will actually play out, usually when there’s two similar (but different) pieces of legislation going through Congress, neither one gets passed.
Let’s just hope that isn’t the case here.
(Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)