House to Consider Supplemental Appropriations Bill Allocating $200M for Global AIDS Programs
The House this week will consider a supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year 2002 that would allocate an additional $200 million to global HIV/AIDS programs, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The HIV/AIDS funding is included in a $29 billion emergency defense spending bill that is currently being drafted by the House Appropriations Committee (Koszczuk, Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/13). The measure's $200 million allocation for global HIV/AIDS programs supplements $650 million in FY 2002 global AIDS spending that is already allocated to USAID and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (House Appropriations Committee Web site, 5/13).
Committee Rejects $500M Amendment
The House Appropriations Committee rejected an amendment to the spending bill that would have allocated an additional $500 million in global AIDS funding, including a $200 million boost for the global AIDS fund. The amendment, which was rejected 33-29, would have also allocated an additional $200 million to USAID and the CDC, as well as $100 million to be spent on HIV/AIDS programs "at the administration's discretion." Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the amendment, originally sought to boost global AIDS spending by $750 million, but offered the amendment calling for an additional $500 million as a "compromise." Stating that she was "deeply disappointed" by the committee's decision to reject the amendment, Lowey said, "We need to respond on a scale that can make a difference. Putting these resources in place now would jolt other donors to the Global Fund, enable USAID and CDC to expand successful programs and motivate countries to respond to the challenge by providing additional economic assistance" (Lowey release, 5/10). The Global AIDS Alliance also criticized the committee's rejection of the amendment. "It's tragic that out of a bill providing nearly $30 billion the committee could not find a way to provide adequate funding for effective programs to combat global AIDS and other health crises," Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, said. The supplemental AIDS funding could be added when the bill is brought to the House floor or in a House-Senate conference committee (Global AIDS Alliance release, 5/10).
Meanwhile, In the Senate ...
Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) has said that he will introduce an amendment to the Senate version of the emergency spending bill that would boost international AIDS funding by $500 million (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/25). Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) also have stated their intention to add a separate amendment to the Senate version of the emergency spending bill that would increase global AIDS spending by $700 million (Meredith McGroarty, Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/13). The Senate Appropriations Committee is slated to vote on its version of the bill next week. Lawmakers believe that the final bill agreed upon by the two chambers will boost global AIDS spending by $500 million (Stolberg, New York Times, 5/12).