Two of Georgia’s three physician-congressmen have been making some overlooked news lately.
In overlooked House floor speeches earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun joined U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) in declaring that a media-driven hysteria over the H1N1 virus — only rubes call it swine flu now — was resulting in overspending by the Obama administration.
(Is anyone else tempted to call it the “hiney” virus?)
Broun and Gingrey objected to $2 billion in a defense supplemental bill for pandemic preparedness, and another $1.5 billion to develop an H1N1 vaccine by this fall.
Some of the spending has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Politico tells of statements by the two congressmen made during Tuesday’s special order session on the House floor:
Gingrey: “We can’t let all of our spending and our reaction be media-driven in responding to a panic so that we don’t get Katrina-ed. … It’s important because what we are talking about as we discuss the appropriateness of spending $2 billion to produce a vaccine that may never be used — that is a very important decision that our country has to make.”
Broun: “I don’t think we need to spend $1.5 billion on flu vaccine when … the research shows that it’s not going to be very virulent. … We are stealing our grandchildren’s future by borrowing and spending. … This hysteria over the flu is driving the media, and it’s driving the administration, driving the leadership here. We’ve got to stop that.”
The spread of social mores is another matter, however.
In this morning’s Athens Banner-Herald, Blake Aued reports that U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has become concerned at decisions in five states to permit gay marriage, and a vote in the District of Columbia to recognize such unions.
Broun will re-introduce a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
The recent trend toward legalizing gay marriage at the state level “highlighted the need for the amendment,” said Pepper Pennington, a spokeswoman for Broun, R-Athens.
Previous versions of the Marriage Protection Amendment have not even come close to gaining enough support to pass, and it has an even slimmer chance now that Democrats have taken over Washington than when Republicans controlled the federal government. It would require a two-thirds vote in Congress and approval from 38 states to be ratified.
While you ponder the above, consider theses items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
In a tightening federal budget, Georgia lawmakers push for their pet projects. Georgia business groups gear up to fight Obama tax crackdown. Stress test: SunTrust told to raise $2.2 billion. Georgia health officials scale back swine flu testing. In Atlanta mayoral race, Kasim Reed and Lisa Borders win backing of real estate executives. Gov. Sonny Perdue signs bill helping military kids change schools. Newest Fulton city stops outsourcing government. Ponds at power plants pose risk to drinking water.
Intown Writer: Layoffs at Georgia Public Broadcasting.
WSJ: The CIA says it briefed congressional leaders on torture, including Nancy Pelosi. NYT: Jobless rate hits 8.9%, but pace of losses is easing. NYDN: Statue of Liberty crown to reopen July 4. Daily Beast: Anatomy of the feud between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell.
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