The House Passes the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill
October 11, 2001
This afternoon, the House of Representatives took another step in the right direction in bringing this nation back to a "state of normalcy" by passing a progressive version of the FY 2002 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill. AIDS Action also won major victories in its effort to rid the bill of onerous amendments.
Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK) introduced an amendment to increase the funding for "abstinence-only" education by an additional $33 million. That would have totaled to $73 million, an increase of $53 million above FY 2001. Due to the lack of an offset, the bill would have increased budget authority outlays in the bill. The amendment was therefore ruled out of order.
Representative Dave Weldon (R-FL) filed two amendments that would have had dire consequences for HIV/AIDS funding. The first would have moved $60 million from Title I Ryan White, which allocates funds for treatment in large cities designated Eligible Metropolitan Areas (EMA), to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. This amendment failed by voice vote.
The second would have cut $40 million from CDC HIV activities, the primary source of federal HIV/AIDS prevention and education, and given it to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau earmarked for autism research. This amendment was withdrawn by Congressman Weldon.
While AIDS Action is aware of the dire needs of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, as well as the ADAP program, these amendments would have "robbed Peter to pay Paul." These are both essential programs for the welfare of this nation. AIDS Action will remain vigilant in its effort to bring adequate funding to all programs aimed at fighting the scourge of HIV/AIDS.
The passage of this bill ends the House actions on Labor, HHS and Education appropriations until the Senate passes its version. The differences will then be worked out in conference between the two houses.
The HIV/AIDS funding levels for the House-passed FY 2002 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill are as follows:
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.