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AIDS Action Network Alert

May 23, 1996

House FY '97 Appropriations Mark-ups Start Next Week

The Chairs of the House Appropriations Subcommittees have set spending targets (known as 602(b) allocations) for fiscal year 1997. These funding targets are not enough to keep programs funded at current spending levels (FY 1996). Aggressive grassroots advocacy is needed to achieve any increases and to protect federal AIDS programs from cuts.

HOPWA - House VA/HUD Subcommittee:

Representatives: Lewis (R-CA) chair, DeLay (R-TX), Vucanovich (R-NV), Walsh (R-NY), Hobson (R-OH), Knollenberg (R-MI), Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Neumann (R-WI), Stokes (D-OH), Mollohan (D-WV), Chapman (D-TX), Kaptur (D-OH)

The VA/HUD Subcommittee appropriates funds for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This subcommittee will mark-up its bill next Thursday, May 30th. Any increases in FY 97 for HOPWA will be extraordinarily difficult. Last year, HOPWA was level funded, although HUD had to provide funds for eleven new qualifying jurisdictions. Grants to existing jurisdictions were cut to fund the new jurisdictions. In FY 1997, approximately ten new jurisdictions will qualify for funding. Congress must provide increases for HOPWA to meet the needs of these newly eligible jurisdictions and protect current grantees from cuts in funding.

Prevention, Care & Research - House Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee:

Representatives: Porter (R-IL) chair, Young (R-FL), Bonilla (R-TX), Istook (R-OK), Miller (R-FL), Dickey (R-AR), Riggs (R-CA), Wicker (R-MS); Obey (D-WI), Stokes (D-OH), Hoyer (D-MD), Pelosi (D-CA), Lowey (D-NY)

The Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee appropriates funds for CDC prevention programs, the Ryan White CARE Act, AIDS Education & Training Centers (AETC) and AIDS research at the NIH. The subcommittee is scheduled to mark-up the bill on June 6th. This subcommittee has less funding for these and other vital "people programs" in education, health and labor. Chairman Porter has stated that he wants to increase funding for all NIH research by 6.5% in FY 97. However, providing increases for CDC Prevention, Ryan White and the AETCs will be extraordinarily difficult.

Time Table:

Grassroots activists have a limited window of opportunity over the next week to aggressively advocate for these vital programs in the House of Representatives. Subcommittees are already drafting the appropriations bills. Once their bills are completed and passed, funding decisions will then need to be voted on by the full committee and the full House before the process begins again in the Senate.

AIDS Action: Call and Write Your Members of Congress in the House.

  1. Tell them to support the following numbers (in millions):

    Housing $250.0 m (+79.0m over FY 95) Prevention $738.5m (+154.0m over FY 95) CARE & AETCs $1,106.7m (+349.4m over FY 95)

    Research $1,565.0m (+$157.2m over FY 95)

    Remind your members of Congress that:
    • HOPWA grantees will again face a funding cut, with the addition of ten new jurisdictions, if funding for FY 97 is not increased.
    • AIDS in now the leading cause of death among Americans ages 25 to 44.
    • HIV Prevention was cut by $5.5m in FY 96.
    • Increasing AIDS cases require increases in all Titles of the Ryan White CARE Act.
    • New and effective, yet expensive, treatments require increases in the CARE Act's AIDS Drug Assistant Program beyond the FY 96 increase of $52.0m.
    • AETCs were cut by $4.3m in FY 96.
    • AIDS Research should be increased and provided through a consolidated AIDS research budget.

  2. Tell them to sign-on to the Morella / Studds "Dear Colleague" Letters for increases in prevention, care, research and housing.

    Reps. Morella (R-MD) and Studds (D-MA) are circulating two sign-on letters. One letter to the House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee asking them to support increases in HIV prevention, care and research funding. The other letter is to the House VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee asking them to support increases in HOPWA. Commitments to sign-on are due Wednesday, May 29, 1996. Copies of the letter are available from AIDS Action or from the offices of Representatives Morella or Studds.

  3. Tell them to write the appropriations subcommittees

    If your Representative is not a member of either the Labor/HHS or VA/HUD Subcommittee, ask them to write a letter to Chairman John Porter (House Labor/HHS) and/or Chairman Jerry Lewis (House VA/HUD) supporting increases in AIDS programs.

All members of the House can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. E-mail addresses for your Representatives can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts. Postal mail can be sent to:

US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515

For more information, contact:
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.