Given the recent outbreak of swine flu, Sen. Susan Collins’s (R-ME) push to strip funding for pandemic flu preparedness is looking increasingly shortsighted. But Collins was not the first to campaign against the provision. Indeed, several days prior to Collins’s public push, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced an amendment that would have stripped, among other things, the flu funding provision. In arguing for his amendment on the floor of the senate, Vitter apparently couldn’t fathom how pandemic preparedness could possibly serve to protect the economy, calling it part of a “laundry list of…big government spending items”:
By pushing for pandemic preparedness cuts, Collins helped finish what Vitter started.