August 9, 2016

Clinton Parroting Obama Talking Points On Zika Funding

Hillary Clinton is in Miami today talking about the Zika crisis. Yet instead of offering solutions, she has already shown that she will simply repeat the outdated and untrue talking points used countless times by President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.

According to the Associated Press, Clinton will demand that Congress returns to approve more funds to fight Zika. Yesterday on Quora, she claimed that Republicans “derailed” a bipartisan emergency funding bill on Zika, while saying there was “there’s no time to waste” to appropriate the funds needed to fight Zika. The facts tell a very different story.

First, while President Obama has requested emergency Zika funds, the White House has “struggled” to explain why they haven’t already spent the $385 million available for fighting Zika:

“The Obama administration is struggling to explain why it is pressing Congress for more money to fight the Zika virus while sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars that it already controls and could be used instead.”

The White House can spend that $385 million on Zika without Congress. Tellingly, when Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz was confronted on this fact, he “sidestepped” the question. You can expect the same if Clinton would ever answer a press conference question again.

The other issue that Clinton mimics Obama and Senate Democrats on is the matter of why the bipartisan funding bill was not passed before summer recess. Senate Democrats want to blame Senate Republicans because they view the worsening crisis as a political opportunity. Yet the fact remains that a $1.1 billion compromise was set to pass, and Senate Democrats, including her running mate Tim Kaine, filibustered it:

“Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a deal providing funding for the fight against the Zika virus, virtually guaranteeing that Congress won’t get legislation to President Obama’s desk this month. In a 52-48 vote, the Senate fell eight votes short of moving past a procedural hurdle against the House-Senate conference report on a military and veterans spending bill, which includes $1.1 billion to fund the Zika virus research.”

President Obama and Senate Democrats have ducked their responsibilities on Zika, and have instead used the issue as a political football. It is sad, but not surprising, that Clinton would join them in playing politics when the United States faces a crisis of national importance.