Over at the Daily Signal, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford has a great op-ed about how Barack Obama took $500M that could have been used to fight the real problem of Zika and diverted it to fight the fake problem of climate change. Granted, that amount of money is kind of a drop in the bucket in the federal budget, but it does illustrate the casual disregard Obama has for actual problems while making totally symbolic gestures to fix fake problems he’s invented in his own head.
In a floor speech last week, I also shed light on the fact that Congress last December provided the Obama administration with authority to pull money from bilateral economic assistance to foreign countries.
You might ask—so what did the administration spend the infectious disease money on earlier this year? You guessed it… climate change.
They can use those funds to combat infectious diseases, if the administration believed there is an infectious disease emergency. In the middle of the Zika epidemic, the administration did use their authority to pull money from foreign aid and spend it, but they didn’t use it for Zika.
You might ask—so what did the administration spend the infectious disease money on earlier this year?
You guessed it… climate change.
In March, President Obama gave the United Nations $500 million out of an account under bilateral economic assistance to fund the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.
Congress refused to allocate funding for the U.N. Climate Change Fund last year, so the president used this account designated for international infectious diseases to pay for his priority.
This kind of casual disregard for the will of Congress – even in matters of appropriations, which are the exclusive purview of Congress under the constitution – is a major threat to our system of government. The President really is becoming more and more like a king than the leader of a coequal branch of government with Congress.
It’s a problem that doesn’t look to find resolution with either of the major candidates who will be running in November, both of whom have repeatedly embraced rhetoric that is openly disdainful of Congress’ constitutional powers and authorities – Trump possibly more so than Hillary. One almost wonders why we bother spending money to elect Members of Congress anymore at all.