Despite a spreading Ebola crisis and political fighting about whether the government has enough funding to fight the virus, the Obama administration had no plans as of this week to increase federal funding for these efforts.
Some press reports have suggested that Democrats in Congress will be pushing for some kind of funding increase after the mid-term election. But a staffer on the House Appropriations Committee said requests for a funding increase almost always come from the executive branch, and said no such request has been made for either the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mathew Jacob, a maternal newborn nursing student, has help removing a gown during a refresher course on personal protective equipment procedure taught at the Brookhaven College School of Nursing in Farmers Branch, Texas. Nursing, EMS and radiological sciences students will all take the refresh course after a second Dallas hospital worker has tested positive for Ebola. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Andy Jacobsohn)
The staffer added that House appropriators aren't usually the people who would know exactly what funding is required to reach a certain goal, which is why federal agencies usual start the conversation by asking for more money.
Neither the NIH nor the CDC responded to questions from TheBlaze about whether they anticipate making new funding requests of Congress.
Earlier this week, some left-leaning groups blamed Republicans for overseeing a series of funding cuts to the NIH, and NIH Director Francis Collins argued that a vaccine for the virus could have been developed if these cuts didn't take place. But some conservatives rejected this argument and noted that funding for the NIH has been flat at a time when other budgets have declined, and also noted that the NIH has wasted millions over the years on trivial health matters and a new headquarters.
Republicans also note that Congress quickly approved the $88 million in additional funds the Obama administration requested to fight Ebola in West Africa. That money was approved as part of a short-term funding bill that was passed before members returned home for the mid-term election.
Congress has also approved a Defense Department request to reprogram funds to allow thousands of soldiers travel to West Africa and help build the infrastructure needed to treat Ebola patients.