As part of his effort to reduce earmarks and redirect spending, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered several amendments to the appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (H.R. 3043). Among these, Coburn Amendment 3320 would eliminate funding for the Ombudsman program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the 2008 fiscal year. Senators Jon Kyl, John McCain, James Imhofe, Richard Burr and Sam Brownback are co-sponsors. Coburn submitted the amendment on October 16 and a Senate vote is expected shortly. (H.R. 3043 History; Coburn Press Release.)
Clearly, this is dire news for an ombuds office that has seen more than its share of controversy in its first year of operation.
Related posts: CDC Ombuds Become Focus of Sen. Grassley's Ire; CDC Ombuds Issue Memo to Employees; Job Posting.