U.S. Lawmakers Agree to Foreign Aid Spending Bill With More Than Bush Requested for HIV/AIDS, Less for MCA
Senate and House negotiators on Tuesday agreed to a $20.9 billion foreign aid appropriations 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 (Allen, Reuters, 11/1). Bush's total FY 2006 budget request for all departments included $3.2 billion to fight the three diseases worldwide, including $300 million for the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/21). The measure includes $2.8 billion to fight the three diseases, which is $268 million more than Bush requested for the diseases through the foreign aid spending bill (Klug, AP/Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, 11/1). That amount includes $450 million for the Global Fund, two times the amount the White House requested (Rogers, Wall Street Journal, 11/2). The amount also includes nearly $2 billion for the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, which administers the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Global Health Council release, 11/2). The bill also would provide $1.7 billion in FY 2006 for MCA. That amount is $282 million above last year's appropriation but less than the almost $3 billion Bush had requested (Reuters, 11/1). When Bush created MCA in 2002, he had planned to provide $5 billion to the program in FY 2006. However, the program 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 during that time (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/30). The bill now heads to the full House and Senate for final passage (Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation release, 11/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.