National Journal Uses Global AIDS Initiative as Example of ‘Mismatch Between Rhetoric, Reality’ in Appropriations Process
The real success of a federal program, such as President Bush's five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative (HR 1298), "is not its creation, but whether it receives the money it needs," National Journal reports in a cover story in its Aug. 2 issue on the congressional appropriations process. When the House in May passed the bill authorizing $3 billion a year for five years to fight AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean, International Relations Committee Chair Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) said that Congress "rarely" acts with such "decisiveness for the benefit of so many suffering in the developing world," according to National Journal. "[I]t turns out that Hyde was right," the article says, adding that in the case of the AIDS bill, "[d]espite all the talk," appropriations bills moving through Congress would allocate "only" $2 billion for the first year of the program -- "not the $3 billion promised." In addition, "to provide cover for congressional Republicans," Joseph O'Neill, director of the White House Office of AIDS Policy, sent the committees letters calling the amount "sufficient." National Journal concludes that the AIDS initiative is "just one example of the mismatch between rhetoric and reality in Washington," which is "unlikely to change anytime soon ... [since] [a]uthorizers love their power to create programs, while appropriators relish their power to decide how much money those programs should receive" (Baumann, National Journal, 8/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.