Actually, there are two runaway trains–one is federal spending and the other is overreach by President Obama. Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article that illustrates both of them. The article was written by Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma.
The article reports:
Last week, the Senate passed legislation to address and prevent the spread of the Zika virus. However, the Senate failed to pay for it, and instead approved a $1.1 billion “emergency” spending supplemental bill that is not subject to the budgetary caps that were agreed to last year.
While congressional inattention to the budget crisis is inexcusable, it is even more disturbing that the Obama administration already has the authority to pay for a Zika response from existing agency budgets, but chose not to.
…But an international medical emergency has now become a U.S. budget emergency, a major debt crisis that will impact our children as well.
If there was a way to both respond to Zika and prevent new debt spending, wouldn’t it be reasonable to do that? The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, and International Assistance Programs currently have about $80 billion in unobligated funds.
A small fraction of this could be reprogrammed and redirected to respond to the Zika emergency and not add any additional debt to our nation’s children. This is exactly the type of authority the Obama administration asked for in 2009 during the height of the H1N1 virus scare.
…In a floor speech last week, I also shed light on the fact that Congress last December provided the Obama administration with authority to pull money from bilateral economic assistance to foreign countries.
They can use those funds to combat infectious diseases, if the administration believed there is an infectious disease emergency. In the middle of the Zika epidemic, the administration did use their authority to pull money from foreign aid and spend it, but they didn’t use it for Zika.
You might ask—so what did the administration spend the infectious disease money on earlier this year?
You guessed it… climate change.
It gets worse.:
In March, President Obama gave the United Nations $500 million out of an account under bilateral economic assistance to fund the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.
Congress refused to allocate funding for the U.N. Climate Change Fund last year, so the president used this account designated for international infectious diseases to pay for his priority.
While I understand that intelligent people can disagree on the human effects on the global climate, it is hard to imagine a reason why the administration would prioritize the U.N. Green Climate Fund over protecting the American people, especially pregnant women, from the Zika virus.
The U.N. Green Climate Fund is connected to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which recently accepted the “State of Palestine” as a signatory. There is currently in place a U.S. funding prohibition that forbids any taxpayer dollars to fund international organizations that recognize “Palestine” as a sovereign state. Evidently the Obama Administration chose to ignore that prohibition and also to create more debt that our children and grandchildren will have to deal with. Someone needs to stop this runaway train.