‘Conservatives’ decide to tighten their belts and stop wasteful spending:
Emergency money that President George W. Bush requested to combat a looming influenza pandemic has been deleted from a U.S. health-funding bill after conservative Republicans insisted it would have to be paid for by cutting other government programs.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday was set to debate the massive health-funding bill. After days of intensive talks between the House and Senate, negotiators dropped a plan for $8 billion in funds that Democrats pushed through the Senate last month.
Following that Senate vote, Bush on November 1 asked Congress for $7.1 billion in emergency money.
The funding fight erupted after conservative Republicans in the House insisted that an emergency U.S. effort to stockpile vaccines and anti-viral drugs that could be effective against the deadly flu would have to be paid for by cutting other government programs.
But not too tight. Wouldn’t want Sen. Ted Stevens to resign, after all:
Mandatory funding for two controversial bridge projects in Alaska — including the ridiculed “bridge to nowhere” — has been stripped from a federal spending bill, a congressional committee said on Wednesday.
In an unusual move to change “pork” spending, House-Senate negotiators removed the $432 million in required spending during final talks on a yearly bill to fund programs for the Transportation and Treasury departments, the House Appropriations Committee said.
As a compromise, Alaska will still receive the money that had been set aside for the bridges to spend as it likes on transportation needs.
In other words, they defunded mandatory spending on the ‘bridge to nowhere,’ but gave them the damned money anyway.
Fiscal Conservatism circa 2005- Defund preparations for the pandemic flu, and shower Alaska with filthy lucre as a compromise for removing a stupid piece of pork-barreling spending that should not have been there anyway.
But at least Ted Stevens can keep his job– Alaska isn’t being ‘discriminated’ against.