Obama won't get $6.2B for Ebola, says former congressman

U.S. President Barack Obama has requested for $6.2 billion in emergency funding for the Ebola crisis and response. Photo by: Pete Souza / The White House

U.S. President Barack Obama is not likely to receive the $6.2 billion in emergency funding to combat the Ebola virus, according to a source at a postelection analysis meeting for government contractors held Nov. 7.

While the announcement of Obama’s request — yet to be officially answered — filled newspapers in early November, former Republican Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia said it simply won’t happen.

“With this Ebola funding Obama has asked for — he’s not going to get it,” Davis told Devex on the sidelines of the conference hosted by the Professional Services Council, which represents government service contractors.

The request was Obama’s first major appeal to the newly Republican-controlled Congress, and although Obama has posed the issue as a security one, Davis said Congress’ decision will reflect its attitude toward foreign aid going forward.

“Aid is tougher for us [Republicans]. Not as much of the budget will go to aid as it does to defense. The focus is going to turn more internal,” he said.

Davis’ comments portend a bleak picture for other aid initiatives some supporters are hoping will make it to the current Congress’ lame-duck legislative agenda, including the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

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About the author

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    Claire Luke

    Claire is a journalist passionate about all things development, with a particular interest in labor, having worked previously for the Indonesia-based International Labor Organization. She has experience reporting in Cambodia, Nicaragua and Burma, and is happy to be immersed in the action of D.C. Claire is a master's candidate in development economics at the George Washington Elliott School of International Affairs and received her bachelor's degree in political philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross.