House Votes on FY 97 Funding for HOPWA Next Tuesday!!
House Labor/HHS Subcommittee Completes Mark-up; AIDS Programs Receive Increases
June 14, 1996
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the FY '97 VA/HUD appropriations bill next Tuesday, June 18th. The full House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday on the bill, increasing funding for some public housing programs, CDBG, some EPA, veterans and NASA programs. The bill still flat-funds HOPWA for FY '97 at $171 million.
There is a bipartisan initiative underway to increase FY '97 funding for HOPWA by amending the bill when it reaches the House floor. Representatives Shays (R-CT), Studds (D-MA), Schumer (D-NY), Flanagan (R-IL), Gunderson (R-WI), Kennelly (D-CT), Pelosi (D-CA) and Nadler (D-NY) among others, are preparing several potential amendments to increase HOPWA funding by $15 million (the pre-FY '95 rescission level of $186 million). They are working now on drafting amendments and finding offsets, but time is short. We need to generate support NOW to win this battle on the House floor!
While a $15 million increase is far below what is actually needed to prevent cuts to existing grantees in FY '97, HUD estimates that the addition of this $15 million would at least allow us to provide housing and services to an additional 4,035 individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. Moreover, if the House were to adopt an amendment increasing HOPWA funds for FY '97 it would send a strong message to the Senate about the support for this program in the House and help us with efforts to get additional increases when the Senate VA/HUD appropriations subcommittee begins to markup its FY '97 bill after the July 4th recess.
By Monday evening, June 17, we will know the specifics of the amendment(s) that will be offered on the House floor. We need your Representative(s) to commit now to vote to restore funding for HOPWA when the bill comes to the House floor.
Call and Fax Your Representatives Today
Let them know what flat-funding HOPWA once again for FY '97 will mean in real terms in your own community. Urge them to support an amendment to increase HOPWA funding when the VA/HUD bill goes to the House floor next week. Remind them that HOPWA is a formula grant program. Since 10 new jurisdictions may qualify for grants in FY '97, "level-funding" for HOPWA will result in even more cuts in formula grants to cities and states. Without an increase in FY '97 funding for this critical program, more and more people living with HIV/AIDS will be living -- and dying -- on the streets of your home towns.
Labor/HHS Subcommittee Markup Complete
Thanks all of you who called and wrote your members of Congress during the mark-ups. Your voices are the reason elected officials cannot turn their backs on people living with HIV/AIDS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Founded in 1984, AIDS Action Council is the only national organization devoted solely to advocating on federal AIDS policy, legislation and funding. AIDS Action Council represents more than 1,400 community-based AIDS service organizations throughout the United States.
more information, contact:
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.