If the United States sees a Zika virus crisis, blame Democrats—at least, that was the savvy political message Republicans hoped to send yesterday afternoon.
Using special fast-track procedures, House Republicans sought to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from mandating permits before landowners could spray pesticides into mosquito-attracting bodies of water. Democratic opposition did the measure in, failing 262-159, the Hill reports.
It was a savvy political move. The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to the devastating birth defect microcephaly.
Democrats’ solution to Zika, on the other hand, has been more public-sector spending, which is less than palatable to many taxpayers. President Obama has sought as much as $1.9 billion in funding to combat Zika.
While this particular measure perished, Republicans should keep pushing to deregulate pesticides, basing policy on firm science instead of alarmism.