Republican U.S. Senator James Inhofe said on Friday he has approved a shift of $750 million in Defense Department war funds to fight Ebola in West Africa, lifting the final objections to that amount in Congress.
Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, had held out on approving the funding shift earlier this week due to concerns over the safety of U.S. troops in Africa and the long-term future of the mission.
"After careful consideration, I believe that the outbreak has reached a point that the only organization in the world able to provide the capabilities and speed necessary to respond to this crisis is the U.S. military," Inhofe said in a statement.
"But because of the failure of the Obama Administration to responsibly and strategically plan in advance for how the U.S. will be involved in West Africa, it will be difficult for me to support any further last-minute funding requests using military resources. That is why I have insisted another more appropriate funding source be identified for operations beyond six months."
(Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Doina Chiacu)