Omnibus Spending Bill Finalized at $397.4 Billion, Including AIDS Funding
Republican lawmakers yesterday "shaped the final details" of the $397.4 billion House-Senate compromise on the omnibus appropriations bill, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Fram, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/13). The Associated Press yesterday reported that the bill includes funds to fight AIDS internationally and to support United Nations Population Fund international family planning efforts. According to unnamed lobbyists and congressional aides, $1.4 billion in aid for international AIDS programs, including $100 million of an $180 million amendment proposed by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). The spending package also includes $34 million for UNFPA international family planning programs, but the money is "unlikely to be spent" because President Bush has the authority to withhold funds, as he did last year. Bush last year withheld the funds over reports that UNFPA "tolerates coerced abortions in China," a claim that the agency denies (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/12). The bill is expected to move through Congress this week. Bush had initially "demanded" that the bill not exceed $385 billion, according to AP/Philadelphia Inquirer (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.