How a Sneaky Senator from Mississippi Is Undermining The US’ National SeaGrant Program to Defund Public Healthcare (and How You Can Stop Him)
by Owen James Burke
Graphic: Sea Grant UMN.
The Sea Grant Reauthorization Act which supports marine science, fisheries and conservation agencies along with the National SeaGrant program, is one of the most widely supported funding bills in United States history.
Unfortunately, the act as written leaves a very big loophole, of which, in light of the GOP’s failed anti-heathcare bill, Mississippi Senator Roger F. Wicker has taken grave and subversive advantage.
Sen. Wicker has just proposed an amendment to congressional act S. 764, originally stated, specifically–and not so specifically–as “An Act to reauthorize and amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes.”
Those “other purposes,” Senator Wicker urges, should include the defunding of Planned Parenthood, a critical government-aided healthcare service for the United States’ substantial number of medically underserved citizens.
The National Sea Grant College Program Act, or, as Sen. Wicker would now have it, “The Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015,” has historically been uniquely and unanimously bipartisan; now, it will be one more subject of heated debate, and likely lead to a stalemate, leaving national marine science program funding out on a limb for the foreseeable future.
The National Sea Grant Program was founded in 1966 and today operates throughout 33 states and territories. Image: NOAA.
Read deep-sea biologist Andrew David Thaler’s analysis of Sen. Wicker’s proposed amendment over at Southern Fried Science, and call, tweet (#SeaGrantLove), text, email, fax or scream at your congressperson today, and let them know that this aggression against the United States’ marine science programs (and “other purposes”) will not stand. –OJB