Representative Sandy Adams (FL-24) released the following statement after voting to repeal H.R. 1217, a $17.75 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund, created in ObamaCare. The current law provides $17.75 billion for the next ten years and continues to appropriate $2 billion per year after 2015 to spend at the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) without Congressional approval. For instance, $500 million from the fund was spent in 2010 for various projects such as state level smoking and overeating prevention programs, encouraging the Center for Disease Control to call for an increase in state taxes.
“Today the House took another important step towards repealing and defunding ObamaCare, while also cutting unnecessary and costly spending. This slush fund is a perfect example of the kind of wasteful government spending that has become business as usual in Washington, and it must be repealed. The $17.75 billion slush fund can be blindly spent at the discretion of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and without Congressional approval, giving the Secretary the authority to spend taxpayer dollars on virtually any purpose she deems necessary, such as encouraging states to increase taxes. It is inappropriate for Congress to delegate this level of unaccountable spending to an unelected political appointee, regardless of who is the president.
“In this tight economy, Congress must put an end to this kind of unaccountable slush fund spending. With the nation facing over a $14 trillion dollar debt, it is ludicrous to give a partisan political appointee free rein to spend $17.75 billion as they see fit, with little transparency, oversight or accountability. Eliminating this slush fund is yet another example of Congress following through with its commitment to the American people to get its fiscal house in order. This is a step in the right direction as I continue to work with my colleagues in the House to defund and repeal ObamaCare.”