112 House Members Send Letter to Bush Calling for More Foreign Aid Funding in FY 2005 Budget, Including HIV/AIDS Money
A bipartisan group of 112 House representatives, led by Reps. Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), on Thursday sent a letter to President Bush calling for a "robust increase" in foreign aid and State Department funding -- including funds to fight HIV/AIDS -- in the president's fiscal year 2005 budget request, which is scheduled to be delivered in February, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 12/11) The Bush administration has told cabinet departments that the administration's FY 2005 spending proposal will include "relatively small" funding increases for HIV/AIDS programs and the Millennium Challenge Account. The proposal will include $2.5 billion in new funds for the Millennium Challenge Account and $1.1 billion in additional funds for global HIV/AIDS programs, according to individuals familiar with Bush's proposal. Those amounts -- along with the funds yet to be approved in the FY 2004 spending bill -- account for 18% of the $30 billion in spending increases the White House promised would take place by 2008. If Congress approves the funding levels in Bush's proposal, most of the promised spending increases would be stalled until after the 2004 presidential election (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/10). The lawmakers said in the letter that increasing funding will benefit "programs that contribute to the formation and strengthening of international coalitions, combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and help build international markets for U.S. goods and services through sensible export promotion and good governance programs." A group of 38 senators, led by Sens. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), planned to send a similar letter on Thursday, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 12/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.