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Labor-H Democrats Urge Hearing to Explore Funding Needed for Emergent Threats

October 10, 2014— House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) sent an Oct. 7 letter to Chair Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) urging him to convene the subcommittee “as soon as possible” to hold a hearing on the public health threats posed by Ebola and Enterovirus D68.

The letter notes the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee is responsible for providing funding to the primary agencies addressing these public health threats, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ranking Member DeLauro states the subcommittee “needs to independently assess their response to these critical public health crises” because they will have to determine the funding levels for these agencies when Congress returns in November and House appropriators have not heard publicly from the CDC or NIH since March.

The letter also notes the overarching budget constraints, which have led to “difficult choices” over the last four years. She adds, “While we may disagree on the merits and the necessity of these cuts, we have a responsibility to ensure that CDC, NIH and other public health agencies under our jurisdiction have sufficient resources to protect the public health and are taking the appropriate actions today to address it.”

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and the Labor-HHS Democrats joined Ranking Member DeLauro in signing the letter.

Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold an Oct. 16 hearing to explore the oversight of the Ebola outbreak. NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci, M.D., and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., are scheduled to testify.

In the press release regarding the hearing, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said, “The Ebola outbreak is a global public health issue that demands an all-hands-on-deck response....The United States has a first-class health care system and we will do everything necessary to treat the sick, contain the threat, and protect the public health.”


Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418


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