When the stimulus was being fought over in Congress. Democrats and Obama wanted some Republicans on board for, at the very least, a showing of bipartisanship. Actual input into the bill wasn't needed. There was enough votes on the Dems side to make the bill law. Senators Specter, Snowe and Collins stepped over to the other side to help with some measures. Three Republicans total out of the entire Congress.
Fast-forward to today with this from The Nation:
But former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans -- led by Maine Senator Susan Collins -- aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.A Wall Street Journal columnist and one Senator has somehow derailed the entire administration's response to the Swine Flu. John Nichols conveniently ignores the fact that contingency plans for some sort of epidemic have always been in place. There was one in place for the bird flu scare a few years ago. That could easily be modified for the swine flu if the administration need to.
Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, [David] Obey's attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient.
The other fact about the Stimulus spending package that Nichols ignores so he can stand on his soap box and cry out that Republicans are evil is that many projects in the bill were spread over a ten year time span.
What he does have is the number $900 million on pandemic preparations. He has no clue how that money would be spent over the next ten years. If there were preconditions to spending or if the money could be used for something else if the need arise. Like having spent it all at the end of the fiscal year or lose the difference for the next.
Obama doesn't even have the head of the CDC in place. His nominee for the Health and human services isn't confirmed. It's been almost 100 days and he still has yet to fill several big gaps in his cabinet. The shift from campaigning to governing is proving to be difficult.
By the way, the White House might say that the Swine Flu might not be a cause for alarm but never let a crisis go to waste when you can use it to spend more money.
Legal Insurrection has more to ponder over.
UPDATE: Guess who else opposed the epidemic preparations? Chuckie Shumer
UPDATE II: What is to keep the Democratic controlled Congress and the Democratic President from passing an emergency measure for the 'Swine Flu Crisis'? It's not they can't whip out a spending bill in less than a couple of days and have it signed right away.