Nothing gets people talking like the fear of dead babies, and that appears to be the goal of President Barack Obama's administration heading into a showdown over Federal spending.
According to media reports, Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the Agency for International Development, recently claimed that the GOP's budget proposal for the remainder of 2011 would lead to the deaths of at least 70,000 children. While addressing a House Appropriations subcommittee on March 30, Shah said that the House Republicans' continuing resolution, which cuts $61 billion from the Federal budget, would devastate international programs that aid sick children.
He estimated that at least 30,000 would die from a lack of malaria control programs, 40,000 from a shortage of immunizations and 16,000 from a lack of skilled attendants at birth. The GOP's budget, which was approved by the House last month, would slash 16 percent from Obama's request for international relief. Shah claimed that these cuts would put about 800,000 Darfurians at risk for disease, famine and further oppression.
Republicans have accused the Obama administration of employing scare tactics in an attempt to gain support for its overabundant spending proposal. Representative Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) told FOX News that Republicans will not debate "what might happen based on speculation and hype."
"Nearly every administration witness appearing before the Appropriations Committee has put forward nightmare scenarios and dire numbers to argue why we should not be reducing spending in any program," Lewis told the media outlet.
If lawmakers do not pass a continuing budget by April 8, the Federal government will be forced to shut down.