House Panel Approves Bill That Would Allow for Waiver of PEPFAR’s Abstinence Spending Requirements
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow President Bush and future presidents to waive the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's abstinence spending requirement, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Abrams, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/5).
By law, at least one-third of HIV prevention funds that focus countries receive through PEPFAR must be used for abstinence-until-marriage programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/30). Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), who helped draft the original abstinence spending requirement, said that he is confident the Bush administration will continue to promote the requirement. He added that future presidents might waive the requirement.
The bill also includes $4.15 billion in bilateral aid to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic -- an increase of $1.3 billion from fiscal year 2007. The bill also includes $550 million for the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the AP/Union-Tribune reports.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the legislation next week, and the House could take it up in two weeks, the AP/Union-Tribune reports (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/5).