Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Foreign Operations Bill That Includes HIV/AIDS, Millennium Challenge Funding
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted 28-1 to approve a $36.6 billion foreign operations bill (HR 2764) that would provide "substantial funding boosts" for HIV/AIDS-related programs, CongressDaily reports (Kivlan, CongressDaily, 7/18).
The Senate bill was approved one day after the House State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee cleared its version. The Senate bill would provide $5.1 billion for global HIV/AIDS activities, a "step below" the House's $5.5 billion but $117 million above the 2008 fiscal year level, according to CQ Today. In addition, the Senate measure would provide $254 million for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a decrease from the $1.5 billion provided in FY 2008, which the House bill would maintain. President Bush requested $2.2 billion for MCC. John Danilovich, MCC's chief executive officer, said the Senate's level is "absurdly low." Danilovich added, "I am concerned that news of this proposed funding level will have a chilling, disturbing and destabilizing effect on our partners who are investing their own hard work and significant resources into our program" (Graham-Silverman, CQ Today, 7/17).