Lawmakers Aim to Boost Funding for HIV, AIDS
March 17, 2003
Since President Bush's State of the Union call for Congress to spend $15 billion over the next five years fighting AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean, Democrats and Republicans have struggled over how much money to spend and how best to get it to those who need it most.Adapted from:
In the House, a small bipartisan group of representatives plan to announce a deal today to greatly increase U.S. assistance for HIV/AIDS care, treatment and prevention over the next five years. While the Bush proposal called for $200 million a year for the next five years for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the House deal -- backed by Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jim Leach (R-Iowa) and Dave Weldon (D-Fla.) -- would authorize the president to contribute up to $1 billion a year to the fund. It would require that the U.S. contribution not exceed 33 percent of all contributions to the fund in any given year, and it would require scrutiny of the fund's operations.
The legislation would authorize an additional $3 billion a year to be spent directly on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; this money would not go through the Global Fund. How to distribute the funding has been a source of contention. Some say the United States will have greater control of the money if the government, not the Global Fund, spends it. But others say it makes little sense not to use existing mechanisms for getting the money to those who need it.
Global AIDS Alliance Executive Director Paul Zeitz said his organization is happy with the House compromise, but he warned that authorization -- which permits a certain amount of spending -- is not the same as appropriation, in which Congress actually spends the money.
Sam Stratman, spokesperson for Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), said Hyde will press his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to follow through on their commitment to confront the HIV/AIDS crisis. Hyde chairs the House International Relations Committee and crafted the House compromise.
03.17.03; Jill Zuckman
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.