Bush to Withhold $5.1B in Supplemental Contingency Funds, Including $200M for International HIV/AIDS Initiatives
President Bush is expected to announce today that he will withhold $5.1 billion in contingency funding that was attached to the $28.9 billion fiscal year 2002 supplemental spending bill (HR 4775), the AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Most of the package contains anti-terrorism spending (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/13). But the $5.1 billion also includes $200 million earmarked for international HIV/AIDS initiatives. After signing the spending bill on Aug. 2, Bush had 30 days to decide whether to authorize the release of the contingency spending (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/5). White House spokesperson Scott McClellan said that the contingency funding was still "under review" and declined further comment. But according to three White House officials, Bush will announce that he is blocking the funding today as he prepares for an economic forum in Texas, where he will "stress" fiscal discipline. Bush has repeatedly "warned Congress against overspending" in the last few months, and administration officials said that he is withholding the package to send a "signal to Congress to reign in spending" (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.