Congress' "Attempt" To Re-Open Federal Government Leaves Ryan White, HOPWA Without Funding
January 7, 1996
Urgent: Meet with Your Members During Recess
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a series of "continuing resolutions" Friday night which would "re-open" the federal government after the longest shutdown in our country's history. The President signed these resolutions into law on Saturday. Among the provisions contained in these continuing resolutions:
Yet these continuing resolutions do not contain FY '96 funds for Ryan White or HOPWA:
The House and Senate Republican Leadership are planning to recess -- to go home -- until January 23rd, without doing anything to address the impact the halt in funding for these programs is going to have on thousands of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in this country. Here is what the failure to fund HOPWA and Ryan White really means:
Because of the current political crisis, FY '96 HOPWA formula grants to seventy-seven cities and states are being held up. Jurisdictions cannot access any FY '96 housing money from HUD -- no HOPWA, no McKinney/HAG, no HOME, no Section 8 or 811. HUD cannot even tell jurisdictions trying to complete their "consolidated plan" for FY '96 HOPWA, CDBG, HOME and ESG funds how much money they will actually receive. All of this is on top of the hardships resulting from the FY '95 rescissions that cut FY '95 HOPWA grants by 8% across the board.
Ryan White Care Act:
The current federal shutdown and the possibility of an extended period in which funding is frozen for these programs will seriously impact the delivery of life-saving medical and support services provided through the Ryan White CARE Act to thousands of men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS across the country.
And the Band Plays On...
Congressional Republican "Leaders" apparently believe that these continuing resolutions "fix" their image problem by funding a few "popular" federal programs and sending federal employees back to work (even if many of those employees cannot fulfill their duties if there is no money for their programs). We need to show the Republican leadership that they are wrong, and that they are willfully causing harm to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Next week, the Congressional Democratic Leadership may hold hearings to expose the real effect the continued funding impasse is having on each of the federal agencies, including HHS and HUD, and the people served by the programs at those agencies. But many members of congress won't be here -- they'll be home, in your communities. Only you can force them to face the reality of what their political games are doing to people living with HIV/AIDS. Only you can hold them accountable.
Note: The local (field office) phone numbers for your Senators and Representatives can be found in the blue pages of your local telephone directory. All members of the House can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, and all Senators can be reached at 202-224-3121. E-mail addresses for your Representatives and Senators can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.
For more information, contact
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.