Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Burr: No Oversight. No Money

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness, has said there will be less money coming to the states to prepare for bioterror attacks, because some states misused the money allotted them in the past. He then went on to say there were fewer restrictions on how the money could be used than there will be on future legislation. In other words, the committee did a poor job writing the legislation and outlining exactly what expenses could be covered.

Is now the right time to cut back on the aid to states that helps them prepare for a terrorist attack? According to the AP report in the
Charlotte Observer,
"No single state, and no community within any state, has reached a full level of preparedness," Leah Devlin, North Carolina's top public health official, told the Senate committee last week in prepared remarks. "The act has made a tremendous difference, but the safety of the American public requires us to do more."
I guess it's a little confusing that this administration that has bullied a nation into fearing the next terrorist attack via a mushroom cloud (gee, thanks, Condi and Dick) is now going to cut back on the very spending that could prepare this nation for a terrorist attack. So, is the threat not real? I think most people feel there is a threat at some level for an attack. Most people also feel that the threat was never going to come from Iraq. Maybe this confuses those small minds in Washington.

Do they think that since most Americans don't want the war in Iraq that we also don't want to be prepared for terrorist attacks? Are they cutting spending in this area because they think we don't want it or as some juvenile punishment for spending previous money on what is now deemed to be nonessentials in the war on terror?

According to the AP article, Sen. Burr is taking the latter stance.

Federal money to prepare for bioterrorism attacks won't be as readily available as it has been in the past, in part because of the poor spending choices made in some states, Sen. Richard Burr said Monday.

This doesn't make the least little bit of sense to me. How on God's green earth can Senator Burr blame a shortage of funds on the fact that some states used previous monies to buy color printers and palm pilots. We don't have the money to prepare for a bioterror attack because President Bush has spent trillions fighting an insurgency that he helped create in Iraq and because he insists on giving his billionaire friends their tax cuts.

If the money was there the Senate Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness would not be playing some lame blame game by trying to make it someone else's fault. Of course, Burr is close to the Bush administration and they are second to none when it comes to fingering someone else for something that is completely and totally their responsibility.

I'm not buying it Richard Burr. I had gained a bit of respect for you during your freshman year, but have lost just about all of it with this responsibility shift maneuver. You and your fellow committee members did a poor job writing the legislation. Grow up, accept responsibility and find the states the money they need to protect the American people.


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