The current short term Continuing Resolution (CR) expires this Friday, March 22 at midnight. Congress has passed another temporary CR that will carry them through midnight, Friday, March 29, while they continue working on the omnibus FY'96 appropriations bill. Congressional leadership is projecting completion of its omnibus FY'96 appropriations bill by March 29th, when both the House and the Senate will break for a 2 week recess, returning Monday, April 15.
The following issues will be covered in the omnibus FY '96 appropriations bill:
- AIDS Education and Training Center's (AETC's) - The House and Senate versions of the bill provide $6 million for AETC's, $10.3 million less than FY'95.
ACTION : Call your Senators and Representatives and urge them to restore the AETC program to its FY '95 funding level.
- AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) - Both the House version unconditionally provides $52 million in FY '96 for ADAP. The Senate version provides the same level of funding, however there are conditions that preclude the immediate release of the funding.
ACTION: Call your Senators and urge them to recede to the House position which unconditionally funds ADAP and allows states and people living with HIV/AIDS immediate access to these important funds.
- Department of Defense (DOD) - The Senate version of the bill contains language that would repeal current law which mandates the discharge of HIV positive service members. The House version does not.
ACTION: Call your Representatives and urge them to adopt the Senate position.
- Office of AIDS Research (OAR) - There is a possibility that an amendment will be offered to restore the consolidated budget for the OAR.
ACTION: Call your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support a strong OAR by supporting the consolidated budget for AIDS research.
- Ryan White CARE Act & Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) - Agreement on FY '96 funding levels between both the House and the Senate has been reached.
ACTION: Call your Senators and Representatives and tell them to keep these programs off the bargaining table. Do not allow funding for these programs to be traded off to increase funds for other federal programs.
- "Section 507" - This is an Istook type provision that would require any organization that sends written communiques to Congress or the executive branch regarding a particular program to disclose in the communique the amount of federal and private funding they receive for that particular program. This would place an extreme administrative burden on CBO's. For further information, contact the Let America Speak Coalition at (202) 223-8100.
Things To Look For:
The President released his budget for FY '97 this week. We will send out a detailed analysis and action steps next week.
For more information, contact
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009