- - Thursday, June 9, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

This do-nothing Congress has yet to declare war on the Zika virus and its attendant microcephaly manifestations. As usual, both houses feel compelled to play their little money games; the Senate’s $1.1-billion proposal is part of a herculean transportation-spending bill, which includes weakening trucker rest regulations favored by the trucking industry. The House’s $622 million appropriation is not much better.

Congressional types lack even the ability to agree on funding thresholds or proffer stand-alone legislation — even though Zika is an issue that could ultimately threaten the national security of the United States.

The travesty of this situation is the fact that these congressional actions should have been implemented last February, when the president offered his first-case funding proposal to fight this viral scourge. Now it may be too late to defend against what assuredly will be Zika’s viral visit upon this nation later this summer.

Then again, we have Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican, telling us not to worry, that Congress will fund the “Zika fight.” Anytime a politician says “Don’t worry,” it’s time to worry.

EARL BEAL

Terre Haute, Ind.

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