Republicans pounce on CDC director over stimulus funds for healthcare programs

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"Well there's only so much you can say in 140 characters and I think a little was lost in translation, " said McCarthy's Digital Director Justin LoFranco. 

"The point Congressman McCarthy was trying to make is that taxpayer-funded stimulus dollars shouldn't be going to pay for advertisements demonizing American food and beverage establishments. $230 million of stimulus grant money being spent on attack ads against soft drink companies is the sort of egregious Washington waste that taxpayers are fed up with. After all, didn't the president and his economic team promise that the stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent? Stimulus spending like this draws into question: How exactly does this add new jobs?"

The CDC last year began a program funded under the healthcare reform legislation that awards money to promote workplace health programs across the nation.

In his answer to McCarthy, Frieden also pointed to an upcoming cable documentary, "The Weight of the Nation," a collaboration between HBO and the Institute of Medicine, the CDC and the National Institutes of Health. The movie was touted several times during the Twitter Q&A.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) wanted to know about another program funded under the controversial healthcare reform legislation: the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative. Grants awarded through this program are dedicated to efforts to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, reduce obesity and decrease tobacco use in communities. Republicans have questioned the oversight into various programs funded by the federal grants and use of funds to influence local government policies, such as encouraging smoking bans.

Frieden also took DesJarlais's question.


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