Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss U.S. Funding For Zika

USA TODAY: Congress fiddles, Zika spreads: Our view
Editorial Board

“…Congress’s propensity to rush from crisis to crisis, and its inconsistent spending on public health, make each new disease an emergency. … [B]oth chambers refuse to vote on Zika funding by itself. They have forced it to hitch a ride on huge spending measures containing controversial issues. … House Republicans have expressed one important concern, that Zika spending be offset by other savings to avoid driving up the deficit. They’ve chosen to take money from Ebola. But how about this alternative? Eliminate the ‘carried interest’ tax break that benefits certain wealthy investment managers. According to the Congressional Budget Office, getting rid of this giveaway would generate … [the amount that is] just about what the administration says is needed to help swat away the Zika virus” (5/31).

USA TODAY: Rep. Tom Cole: Don’t worry, we’ll fund Zika fight
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee

“Rest assured. The Zika emergency response will be funded, and immediate needs are already being funded. The issue now is whether the funding will be paid for or irresponsibly added to the national credit card. … Republicans believe that when resources already exist to confront an emergency, we should use them. That’s why the House approach to Zika uses funds designated for Ebola and other infectious diseases. Sadly, Democrats claim that Republicans are heartlessly raiding the Ebola crisis fund. … Since additional funds used for Zika will be repaid, that’s more than enough to finance all the planned Ebola research for the foreseeable future. … While we listen to scientists, we also listen to economists who tell us that adding to the national debt when it is unnecessary is irresponsible. In this case, we have the money, time, and ability to deal with Zika and keep watch over Ebola in a thoughtful and prudent way” (5/31).

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