The Obama administration has employed a variety of tactics to frighten the public about the possible consequences of sequestration. Air-traffic control towers will be shuttered. Children will be thrown off Head Start. The nation’s guard against terrorism will be lowered.
Republicans, and in some cases the press, have poked some pretty big holes in some of the administration’s most extravagant claims. But no one has done a better job than a little-known GOP congressman, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who took on officials from the Centers for Disease Control at a House hearing last week.
The occasion was a meeting of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. In questions directed toward Tom Frieden, who is director of the Centers for Disease Control, Harris brought up a White House estimate of the number of children in Maryland who would go without vaccinations if sequestration went into effect. The documentsaid clearly: “2,050 fewer children will get vaccines for diseases like measles and whooping cough.”