Senate Appropriations Committee Shifts South American Drug War Money Toward Fighting Disease, Wall Street Journal Reports
The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved a revised foreign-aid budget that transfers funds from antidrug efforts in South America to international efforts to fight disease, the Wall Street Journal reports. To provide a total of $625 million to fight AIDS in Africa and other infectious diseases, the committee cut President Bush's funding request for the Andean drug war by 22%. The $15.6 billion Senate bill earmarks about $450 million to fight AIDS -- 37% more than Bush requested-- and $175 million to combat other diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. The "competition for money underscores how the importance of antidisease and antidrug programs have grown in the post-Cold War world," the Journal says (Rogers, Wall Street Journal, 7/27). On Tuesday, the House voted 240-188 to reject an amendment by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) to the $15.2 billion FY 2002 foreign-aid appropriations bill that would have shifted $60 million from the South American antidrug initiative and military-aid programs into the U.N. Global AIDS and Health Fund. The House also voted 249-179 to reject an amendment proposed by Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) that would have reduced military aid to Colombia by $100 million and evenly divided that funding between programs aimed at fighting tuberculosis and "child-survival" programs. The House version of the bill does allocate $474 million for AIDS initiatives, including $100 million of the $200 million President Bush pledged to the U.N. AIDS fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.