4.27.2009

Collins, Republicans, Killed Off Enhanced Pandemic Preparedness

Conservatism continues to read it's ugly reality.

From DKos' Dana Houle:

Hey, remember during the negotiations over the stimulus bill, when those prudent Senate Republicans extorted Obama to indulge their budgetary fetishes but still championed preparedness for an influenza pandemic?

No, of course you don't, because the Gang of Three Republicans, with support from their Democratic abettors, killed a House-backed proposal to enhance pandemic preparedness.

Do you want to know who to blame for the US not being optimally prepared for an influenza pandemic? Start with Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins:



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Think Progress has more:

In Attempt To Placate The Right Wing, Collins and Specter Endorsed Pandemic Flu Funding Cut

On February 5, Karl Rove took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to argue against President Obama's Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act because, in his view, the spending was not targeted to create or preserve jobs. In particular, Rove complained about the fact that the bill included "$900 million for pandemic flu preparations." He contended that such spending was unnecessary because the health care sector "added jobs last year."

Rep. David Obey (D-WI) included the pandemic preparation funding in the package because he believed "that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse." But Rove was not concerned with the actual substance of the funding.

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Jason Linkins has more:
GOP Stripped Flu Pandemic Preparedness From Stimulus

Remember way back in the day, President Obama delivered his Not Really The State Of The Union address, and the GOP trotted out Future Of The Republican Party Supra-Genius Bobby Jindal to provide a rebuttal? Well, we all had some laughs, didn't we? Mainly because Jindal was all: "They want to spend stimulus money on volcano monitoring? Why everyone knows that the Hill Witch keeps tabs on our volcanoes by floating chicken bones in her own intestinal ichor!" And then Alaska's Mount Redoubt erupted, suggesting there might be something to this "let's monitor volcanoes with government-funded science" idea.

Well, as it turns out, volcano monitoring wasn't the only worthwhile public safety program that was deemed extravagant in the stimulus package, funding for pandemic preparation was axed as well. And playing a critical role was Susan Collins -- for whom the necessity of obtaining her vote is in inverse proportion to the intelligence she shows in policy making:

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