Global AIDS Initiative Funding Appropriations Expected ‘After First of the Year,’ AIDS Coordinator Randall Tobias Says
Randall Tobias, head of the new State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, in an interview on NPR's "Day to Day" on Thursday said that he expects funding for the Bush administration's global AIDS initiative to be appropriated "probably shortly after the first of the year" and that the initiative will "begin to get the first money out the door about the time it's appropriated" (Brand, "Day to Day," NPR, 12/11). The House this week approved the $820 billion fiscal year 2004 omnibus spending bill, which contains $2.4 billion for FY 2004 spending on international AIDS, TB and malaria initiatives. The Senate failed to vote on the bill before its winter recess; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) scheduled a vote on the bill for Jan. 20, when the Senate reconvenes (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/10). Tobias said, "Things don't move as rapidly in the U.S. government as they do in the private sector, but this has broad-based support," adding, "Many of these countries just simply don't have the ability to absorb the money as quickly as we might like to get it out the door; we're going to begin by putting money in programs that already exist and can be ramped up. But certainly over the course of the first fiscal year we will spend what will be appropriated, and that is something between $2 and $2.4 billion." Tobias also discussed his recent trip with a U.S. delegation of more than 100 lawmakers, business leaders and religious groups to several African countries to examine projects aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS ("Day to Day," NPR, 12/11).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.