Senate Votes to Overturn Congressional Ban on District of Columbia’s Use of Local Money for Needle-Exchange Programs
The U.S. Senate yesterday passed the District of Columbia's FY 2002 $5.3 billion budget and voted 53-47 in a "near-party-line vote" to permit the city to use local funds to provide clean needles to intravenous drug users for the first time since a congressional ban on needle-exchange programs took effect in 1998, the Washington Post reports. Three Republicans voted with 49 Democrats and one independent to permit the needle-exchange program after tabling an opposition amendment proposed by Sen. George Allen (R-Va.). The needle program provision was not included in the House version of the budget and will face opposition in conference committee, where negotiators must "iron out" differences between the two bills, the Post reports (Hsu, Washington Post, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.