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.
U.S. Senate Switchboard
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Labor/HHS Subcommittee Markup Complete
The House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee this morning completed its appropriations bill for FY 97. With the exception of the Office of AIDS Research (OAR), AIDS programs fared well in the process with increases in HIV prevention; Ryan White CARE; and overall research at the NIH. While these increases are a good start, they by no means provide sufficient resources to meet the ever growing need for better education and prevention programs, health and support services; training of health professionals; or targeted AIDS research. In addition, other health and social service programs were severely impacted. Public health and other programs complement each other to ensure the health and welfare of Americans. These programs, when combined, provide a strong foundation
for AIDS services which cannot be accomplished if Congress does not provide adequate resources.
FY 97 funding in the subcommittee bill is as follows:
Ryan White CARE Act: The CARE Act received an overall funding increase of $54.9m over FY 96. Each Title received:
Title I $ 401.7m (+10.0m)
Title II $ 290.8m (+30.0m)*
Title IIIb $ 61.9m (+ 5.0m)
Title IV $ 34.0m (+ 5.0m)
AETC $ 16.3m (+4.3m)
Dental $ 7.5m (+0.6m)
TOTAL: $ 812.3m (+54.9m)
* Of the total Title II allocation of $290.8m, $75m is earmarked for ADAP.
CDC HIV Prevention: HIV prevention programs at the CDC received an increase of $15m over FY 96 for a total of $599.1m -- a welcome increase after two years of level funding.
Office of AIDS Research at the NIH: The NIH received an overall increase of 6.5% over FY 97 for all research programs for a total of $1.5 billion. The subcommittee, however, for the second year eliminated the consolidated budget at the Office of AIDS Research. Without a strong OAR with consolidated budget authority over AIDS research dollars, research that has produced critical breakthroughs in the understanding of HIV disease will be in jeopardy.
Passage of the FY 97 Labor/HHS Appropriation bill by the Subcommittee is the first step in the appropriations process that will not finish until sometime in the fall. The bill will now go to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration -- probably Thursday, June 20th. We will be seeking out opportunities for further increases in AIDS funding and to reinstate the consolidate budget for AIDS research at the OAR as the bill proceeds through the Congress. Please watch for Action Alerts next week as well as a July 4th Recess packet the week of June 24.
We urge you to make appointments NOW to discuss AIDS funding needs with your Senators who will be home during the July 4th Recess. The Appropriations process will continue after the July 4th Recess in the Senate. Please do not delay.
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.
(Paid for with contributions from AIDS Action Network members.)
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:
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, Ext. 3053