Policy & Politics
Senate Passes Omnibus Spending Bill, Including Funding for Global AIDS Initiative
January 23, 2004
The Senate on Thursday voted 65-28 to approve an omnibus spending bill (HR 2673), which includes $2.4 billion for international AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria initiatives, the Washington Post reports (Dewar, Washington Post, 1/23). The House last month approved the bill, which combines seven of the 13 annual fiscal year 2004 spending bills. House-Senate conferees in November 2003 agreed to increase FY 2004 federal spending on international AIDS, TB and malaria initiatives to $2.4 billion, $400 million more than the Bush administration had requested. Although the measure (HR 1298) supporting the five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative authorizes $3 billion for the first year of the program, the Bush administration requested only $2 billion. Bush said that his administration requested less than $3 billion in order to give the program time to "ramp up." The omnibus spending bill also includes $1 billion for the Millennium Challenge Account, an assistance program for developing nations that encourages democracy and development through economic aid (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 1/21). Senate Democrats had earlier blocked the bill, citing objections to provisions on overtime pay rules, country-of-origin food labeling and other issues but on Thursday "conceded" that they could not sustain the filibuster, according to the Post. In a procedural vote, most Republicans were joined by 16 Democrats in a 61-32 vote to end debate on the measure. Bush is expected to sign the measure soon, the Post reports (Washington Post, 1/23).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.