House Committees Approve Defense Fund Transfers to Fight Ebola
The House Armed Services Committee and the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee approved the Department of Defense’s (DOD) request to transfer money from its combat budget to its humanitarian assistance account to fight Ebola. The DOD asked to release over one billion dollars, but was allowed only $750 million. Additionally, they may use no more than $50 million of that sum until the Obama Administration provides more information on its plan to respond to the disease.
“The United States is stepping up to lead the international response to the Ebola outbreak, and Congress will ensure that the President’s request is fully and quickly funded”, said Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, the Chairman of the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.
Representative Buck McKeon of California, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, agreed to allowing them to use the funds for anti-Ebola efforts but also noted, “Releasing these funds marks the beginning of the Committee’s oversight of this important mission, not the end.”
Although the relevant House Committees have given their approval, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma has refused the request thus far, saying that the defense budget is already overtaxed.
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