FY '96 Appropriations and More Remain Unresolved While Congress Out on Recess
March 29, 1996
FY '96 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (HR 3019)
The latest continuing resolution (CR) runs out at midnight tonight. While both chambers have reached agreement on program funding levels of Ryan White CARE Act, ADAP and AETC's and HOPWA (see chart below), Conferees still must resolve other non-spending issues before the bill can be brought to the Senate and House floors for a vote. Until then, programs will be funded by another temporary CR passed today by Congress. That CR will expire at midnight, April 24.
Proposed Funding Levels for FY'96 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
Ryan White CARE Act:
OAR - A consolidated budget was not agreed upon.
Repeal of Discharge of Service Members with HIV
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Rep. Bill C.W. Young (R-FL) have proposed compromise language that would delay discharge of military personnel infected with HIV until January 1997. For now, Appropriations Chair, Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-OR) does not support the compromise and wants the House to support the immediate repeal. The Conference Committee vote has been postponed until 4/15.
ACTION: Tell your Senator & Representative to support the repeal of the discharge of HIV+ service members, particularly if they are members of the Appropriations Committee. The Young/Stevens compromise is no compromise for the men and women who have served this country.
Ryan White Care Act Reauthorization
Conferees have met, but made little progress on this bill. The remaining items of contention are funding formulas for Titles I and II, and the Coburn amendment which requires mandatory HIV perinatal testing. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS), Bill Frist (R-TN) and Representative Tom Coburn (R-OH) will be meeting to try and reach agreement on the testing issue.
Denial of Disability Benefits To Substance Abusers Attached To Debt Ceiling (HR 3136)
Congress passed a bill that raises the national debt ceiling. It was sent to the White House, where the President has indicated he will sign it into law. Included in this bill is a provision that excludes alcoholism and substance abuse as eligibility conditions for SSI benefits. This provision sets a dangerous precedent that does not recognize alcoholism/ substance abuse as disabilities.
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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.