The White House
HIV and the Military
House Senate Conferees continue to try to resolve their differences in the FY 1996 Defense Authorization bill. Some staff report that they believe majority Republicans will support the Dornan provisions in the House bill that call for the discharge of service members with HIV. While President Clinton has promised to veto this bill because of the Dornan provision and other parts of the bill, Senators Cohen (R-ME), Warner (R-VA) and McCain (R-AZ) need to be pressured to oppose the Dornan provision.
If Senators Cohen, Warner, or McCain are your Senators, urge them to oppose the Dornan provision in the House Defense Authorization bill.
Urge President Clinton to stand firm in his promise to veto the Defense Authorization bill if it contains the Dornan provision.
E-mail addresses for your Representatives, Senators and the White House can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.
House and Senate conferees have been named and are now meeting to reconcile the different versions of the VA/HUD Appropriations bill, which provides funding for HOPWA.
House Conferees: Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Tom Delay (R-TX), Barbara Vucanovich (R-NV), James Walsh (R-NY), David Hobson (R-OH), Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Mark Neuman (R-WI), David Obey (D-WI), Louis Stokes (D-OH), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Jim Chapman (D-TX), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).
Senate Conferees: Kit Bond (R-MO), Phil Gramm (R-TX), Conrad Burns (R-MT), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Mark Hatfield (R-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Johnston (D-LA), Bob Kerry (D-NE), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Robert Byrd (D-WV).
Urge conferees to provide line item funding for HOPWA - as in the Senate bill - at a funding level of $213 million - the proportionate amount HOPWA would receive in the House bill. This funding level, while still inadequate, will at least ensure that currently eligible HOPWA formula jurisdictions, as well the 12 new formula-eligible jurisdictions do not experience cuts in funding.
E-mail addresses for your Senators can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.
VA/HUD Veto Message
Once the conference report is completed and passed by both houses, it will go to the president, who has vowed to veto the bill. We are extremely concerned that President Clinton will not give priority to housing programs in post-veto negotiations.The Democratic leadership sent a very bad message to the president about their priorities when Senators Kennedy (D-MA) and Mikulski (D-MD) offered an amendment to restore $425 million for the Americorp program by taking money from "unobligated amounts" in HUD's "assisted housing" account, which includes HOPWA, Secs. 202, 811, and 8.
Just months ago, President Clinton signed the FY '95 Rescissions bill cutting $1.12 billion from this very account, including $15 million from HOPWA. While the Kennedy-Mikulski amendment failed 47-52, we must not ignore the message it sent about priorities!
Write to President Clinton. Tell him that he must not sell out the homeless and those at risk of homelessness, including people living with HIV/AIDS. Tell him housing programs like HOPWA and McKinney/HAG must be his top priorities, and that he should insist on the highest possible funding levels for these programs. Let him know that taking money from housing programs to restore funding for Americorp (or any other program) is totally unacceptable.
E-mail addresses for the White House can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts. To contact the president, e-mail: <email@example.com>
Continuing Resolution (CR)
The Continuing Resolution, which provides funding to keep the government running, will expire on November 13. Since many appropriations bills remain stalled in Congress, a new stop-gap CR, lasting a few weeks, is likely to be passed giving Chairmen Specter, Porter, and other congressional leaders time to negotiate a longterm CR that may include program eliminations. We will keep you apprised.
If your Congressional Member is on an Appropriations Committee, call and urge him/her to maintain AIDS programs at the highest funding level possible in any new Continuing Resolution.
E-mail addresses for your Representatives can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.
For more information, contact:
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009