House Subcommittee Approves Foreign Aid Spending Bill With More Money Than Bush Requested for HIV/AIDS, Less for MCA
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations on Thursday unanimously approved a $20.3 billion foreign aid bill for fiscal year 2006 that includes more money to fight global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria than President Bush requested but less funding than he proposed for the Millennium Challenge Account, which is meant to encourage economic and political reform in developing countries, Reuters reports. The measure includes $2.7 billion in foreign spending to fight the three diseases, an increase of $502 million over the FY 2005 appropriation and $131 million more than Bush requested in foreign spending for the diseases, according to Reuters. The bill includes $400 million for the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to Reuters (Allen, Reuters, 6/16). Bush's total FY 2006 budget request includes $3.2 billion for President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, including $300 million for the Global Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/10). The foreign aid bill provides $1.75 billion in FY 2006 for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which is charged with administering MCA. That amount would be an increase over the $1.5 billion provided in FY 2005 but less than the $3 billion Bush requested (Reuters, 6/16). Bush originally had planned to give $5 billion to MCC for FY 2006 when he created it in 2002 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/10). However, MCC has over the last two years has approved agreements with only four countries for projects totaling $610 million, even though Congress has appropriated $2.5 billion, the New York Times reports. MCC CEO Paul Applegarth on Wednesday told his staff that he will be leaving the agency but declined to comment on the reasons for his impending departure (Dugger, New York Times, 6/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.