President Barack Obama will ask Congress to approve additional funding to combat the growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, possibly as soon as next week, according to Bloomberg News.
It is unclear what amount the president will seek or where the funds would come from. According to Bloomberg, the package could be moved on an "emergency" basis where it would not count toward the federal deficit, or simply be accounted using savings from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday that Obama has "not made any decisions about whether additional resources are necessary."
If he does decide to pursue additional funds, Obama may find unlikely support across the aisle. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), who is facing re-election, said earlier this month that he would work with the administration on further efforts to address the crisis, which has caused more than 4,000 deaths in West Africa.
"I think they should have anything they want. The president asked for $88 million a few weeks ago; we gave it to him," McConnell said on MSNBC. "Whatever the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] thinks they need, we'll give it to them."
Facing mounting criticism over its initial response to two cases of transmission in the United States, the White House on Friday appointed Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, as the administration's "czar" to be tasked with managing federal agencies amid increasing concern over the virus.
"Ultimately, it will be his responsibility to make sure that all the government agencies who are responsible for aspects of this response, that their efforts are carefully integrated. He will also be playing a role in making sure the decisions get made," Earnest said.