A deal reportedly proposed last week to resolve an ongoing dispute between the Bush Administration and Congress over funding to procure anthrax vaccine appears to have fallen through. A letter sent Wednesday (July 2) from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to a Senate subcommittee outlines a plan that would take money earmarked for other research supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to pay for the anthrax vaccine.

In a May letter, Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) warned former OMB Director Mitch Daniels not to use any fiscal year 2003 (FY03) funds to procure the second-generation recombinant antigen (rPa) vaccine until Daniels and the senators discussed the matter. As chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the National Institutes of Health, the senators were upset that OMB had ordered NIAID to scavenge $233 million...

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