Dan Gilmore / May 25, 2016

Obama Spent Money on Climate Change Over Zika Emergency

The virus is most devastating among the nation’s unborn.

The vast and sprawling government has funds set aside to deal with all sorts of contingencies, but the Senate approved a $1.1 billion Zika virus spending bill last week that exceeds the constraints of the existing budget. What for? In March, the Obama administration pilfered half a billion dollars from the fund Congress set aside to deal with international infectious diseases and used it to help fund a UN agency recently founded to fight climate change, according to Sen. James Lankford.

With summer just around the corner and mosquito season near full swing, the Zika virus has become a concern in the United States. As we’ve noted, the virus only affects a small percentage of the population. But the disease is not well researched, there’s a link between the virus transmitted by mosquitoes and the birth defect of microcephaly, and the virus has spread to the United States. The virus is most devastating to the nation’s unborn — some of the most vulnerable among us.

“Zika is an important international crisis,” wrote Lankford, “but every crisis does not demand new ‘emergency funding’ that is all debt. If there is a way to avoid more debt, we should take that option, it is what every family and every business does every day.”

Obama potentially broke U.S. law in giving that money to the UN agency because Palestine — not recognized as a state by the UN — is a member. The move also circumvented Congress because the governing body holding the purse strings declined Obama’s request to fund the UN’s Green Climate Fund. But Obama sees his own legacy surrounding climate change more important than this unknown virus spreading through the states.

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