Congress Appropriates Record $2.9B to Fight AIDS, TB, Malaria in FY 2005; Global Fund Dollars Decline
The $2.9 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria that Congress approved earlier this month as part of the fiscal year 2005 omnibus spending package (HR 4818) is the most ever appropriated to fight the diseases worldwide, CQ Weekly reports (Putrich, CQ Weekly, 11/27). The measure includes $2.3 billion in the foreign operations portion of the bill, a $690 million increase over FY 2004 spending. The other $600 million in HIV/AIDS funding is part of the Labor-HHS portion of the bill (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/22). The total allocation is $99 million more than President Bush had requested and 21% more than Congress provided in FY 2004. The funds -- much of which would go to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- are part of a general increase in foreign spending for FY 2005, although not as much of an increase as Bush requested, according to CQ Weekly. Total foreign operations funding would be $19.8 billion -- 13% more than FY 2004 but 8% less than Bush's request -- and that amount does not include a 0.8% across-the-board cut in discretionary spending, CQ Weekly reports.
Global Fund Money
Funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria in the FY 2005 foreign operations bill is about $200 million less than FY 2004 levels. (CQ Weekly, 11/27). Congress in FY 2004 authorized $547 million for the fund. However, the bill (HR 1298) authorizing the pledge stipulates that the total U.S. contribution to the fund cannot exceed 33% of total contributions to the fund. U.S. Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the State Department's Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, in August extended the funding deadline to give other countries and foundations more time to make the additional contributions to the Global Fund. However, the additional donations were not sufficient for the United States to contribute its total allocation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/24). Therefore, the FY 2005 appropriation for the Global Fund includes $88 million of the FY 2004 appropriation that the United States did not release because the Global Fund could not find matching donations from other countries. Sen. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), chair of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, said he expects that the Global Fund will be better able to match this year's appropriation. However, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said that the fund already has international pledges totaling $551 million, suggesting it will be able to match a larger U.S. donation, according to CQ Weekly. According to Durbin's aides, the senator at the request of outgoing Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is expected to propose an additional donation to the fund in the emergency war supplemental spending bill early next year, CQ Weekly reports (CQ Weekly, 11/27).
Congressional Quarterly's Kate Schuler in this week's "Health on the Hill from kaisernetwork.org and CQ" discusses HIV/AIDS funding contained in the omnibus spending bill (Schuler, "Health on the Hill from kaisernetwork.org and CQ," 11/29). The report is available online.
C-SPAN on Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET is scheduled to broadcast a briefing, titled "The Global Scourge of HIV/AIDS," that is expected to include comments from U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky; USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios; HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson; and Tobias (C-SPAN, 11/29). Complete video of the briefing will be available online in RealPlayer and Windows Media after the broadcast.