House, Senate Conferees ‘Kill’ Senate-Led Effort to Permit District of Columbia to Use Its Own Funds for Needle-Exchange Programs
Congressional leaders last night approved the District of Columbia's fiscal year 2002 $5.3 billion budget, but not before House and Senate conferees "killed" a Senate-led effort to permit the city to use its own funds for needle-exchange programs, the Washington Post reports. Although negotiators "eased" restrictions on the District's use of money to lobby Congress, the ban on spending local revenue to fund a needle exchange -- a program that is supported by public health officials and AIDS prevention groups -- was upheld (Hsu, Washington Post, 12/5). On Nov. 7, the Senate 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 such programs took effect in 1998 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 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.