Panel says it will approve millions more for swine flu

The House Appropriations Committee will approve spending more than $2 billion to combat the outbreak of swine flu, up from the $1.5 billion President Barack Obama requested, the committee's chairman said.

The chairman, Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), said May 5 that the committee wants to provide an additional $350 million for state and local efforts against swine flu and $200 million to strengthen global response.

The funding would pay for antiviral medications, vaccines, and systems for disease detection and surveillance, Obey said. Some money would go to nongovernmental organizations that are working to track the disease, he added.

The committee is scheduled to consider the increase May 7 as part of a $94 billion supplemental spending bill that also includes funding for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The total is $9.3 billion above the Obama administration’s request.

Obey said the extra money for swine flu is justified because there has been a longstanding need to expand pandemic flu preparedness. In 2005, President George W. Bush asked for $7.1 billion for that purpose, but Congress has never fully funded that request, Obey said.

Under the committee’s legislation:

  • The Health and Human Services Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would get $1.5 billion for supplementing federal vaccine stockpiles, developing and buying vaccines, and expanding detection efforts.
  • State and local governments would get $350 million to prepare for and respond to a flu pandemic.
  • Some $200 million would be spent to support global efforts to track, contain and slow the spread of the flu.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.