Obama to Consult Congress on Ebola

Hazmat workers prepare to enter the apartment in Dallas where a second health care worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus resides. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)
Hazmat workers prepare to enter the apartment in Dallas where a second health care worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus resides. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)
Posted October 16, 2014 at 2:57pm

President Barack Obama will call members of Congress today to discuss the Ebola virus crisis, and there are hints from the White House that he might be asking for more money.  

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Obama will be making a series of calls to lawmakers, and will discuss a role for Congress.  

“Congress obviously controls the purse strings,” Earnest noted when asked about the role of the Hill. He also said the president wants to hear Congress’ thoughts on what to do. The consultation with Congress comes amid sharp criticism of the administration’s response on Capitol Hill, and Obama’s decision to scrap his regular schedule t o deal with the crisis.  

Earnest continued to downplay the threat of Ebola, saying that the chances of a widespread outbreak remain “exceedingly low.”  

He also rejected one recommendation of many members of Congress — a travel ban on people from affected countries in Africa. Earnest said that would drive people underground to elude testing and monitoring and thus increasing the risk to Americans.