Congress Whines About Trump Coronavirus Budget Request

The strange thing is, none of the critics are truly offering a detailed plan

Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response

Lawmakers in both parties on Tuesday expressed growing alarm that the threat of coronavirus in the United States is serious, and that the Trump administration is not doing enough to fight it.

Two Cabinet members at separate hearings were grilled over what lawmakers described as an insufficient response so far, while Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said the White House’s budget request to handle the disease was lackluster.

“It seems to me at the outset that this request for the money, the supplemental, is lowballing it, possibly, and you can’t afford to do that,” Shelby told Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a hearing on the agency’s budget request.

“If you lowball something like this, you’ll pay for it later,” he added, telling reporters he planned to recommend a “higher” amount without offering details.

Thanks for the serious plan, Richard.

Democrats were unsparing on their criticism, with Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) saying the administration was showing “towering and dangerous incompetence” in its response to the virus.

He called for at least $3.1 billion in funding and for the administration to appoint a czar to oversee the response.

And what is the Executive Branch to do with $3.1 vs $2.5 billion? And what is the czar to do? No details, Chuck?

Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the only Republican to vote for Trump’s impeachment earlier this year, also harshly criticized the administration.

“I’m very disappointed in the degree to which we’ve prepared for a pandemic, both in terms of protective equipment and in terms of medical devices that would help people once they are infected,” Romney said.

What would you do, Mitt? How is the government to prepare and deal with this? Any ideas?

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) questioned Azar at a hearing Tuesday about whether the U.S. was ready for an outbreak, questioning why the country doesn’t have enough medical supplies and protective gear stockpiled.

“We are disregarding scientific evidence and relying on tweets and an emergency supplemental without details, and we’re not stockpiling things right now we know we might possibly need for this or for any other future pandemic,” she said. “I am deeply concerned we are way behind the eight ball on this.”

There’s lots of whiners all around, none of them who are offering any ideas. But, this is the way it works with career politicians, they always have to grandstand but are short of solutions.

House Democrats plan to put forward their own funding bill at a higher amount.

“The House will swiftly advance a strong, strategic funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement Monday night.

OK, it’s Wednesday: where is it?

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4 Responses to “Congress Whines About Trump Coronavirus Budget Request”

  1. Nighthawk says:

    Since the peak of infections in China back on Jan. 27th, the number of new infections there has dropped dramatically. All told in the US, there has been 53 cases and zero deaths.

    Hardly something to panic over at this point.

  2. STW says:

    I heard the house democrats complaining. Do they not realize that they control the power of the purse? They actually get to decide how much money to allocate. I suspect the only thing holding up the democrats is that it takes time for the writers to notify friends and adjust stock holdings in advance of the bill. You can’t become a millionaire on the government dime if you hurry these things

    • Kye says:

      Well, STW, that and they have to check with Al Sharpton, CAIR and AOC for their input.

      Trump 2020 That’s right TRUMP!

  3. “And what is the Executive Branch to do with $3.1 vs $2.5 billion? ”

    The various branches of the US govt have multiple “indefinite delivery order” contracts with various pharma and supply companies. I would guess, this money would be dropped into some of those contracts to stock up on the types of things that would be useful in the event of a big epidemic. But mostly, I suspect that money will be used to replace all the stuff the govt bought last time and is now expired. This is the case of the national vaccine stockpile created in the Clinton administration. Lots of medical stockpiles have a very limited shelf-life.

    Don’t worry. That money WILL get spent. Not like the Obama administration where the money just disappears.

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