Senate Appropriations Committee Reduces Funding for MCC, Increases Aid to HIV/AIDS Programs, Global Fund
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted to reduce President Bush's funding request for the Millennium Challenge Corporation and to increase aid for HIV/AIDS programs, including the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the AP/Yahoo! News reports (Taylor, AP/Yahoo! News, 6/28). MCC is a program meant to encourage economic and political reforms in developing countries (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/6).
The Senate's foreign aid bill would reduce Bush's $3 billion request for MCC to $1.2 billion. It also would increase Bush's $4.2 billion request for global HIV/AIDS programs by $940 million, including $590 million for the Global Fund, the AP/Yahoo! News reports (AP/Yahoo! News, 6/28).
The bill, which passed the House last week, also would allow Bush and future presidents to waive the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's abstinence spending requirement. By law, at least one-third of HIV prevention funds that focus countries receive through PEPFAR must be used for abstinence-until-marriage programs. 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 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/22). The measure now goes to the Senate floor, Reuters reports (Reuters, 6/28).