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FY 98 Appropriations, FDA Reform Bills:

October 6, 1997

A note from The field of medicine is constantly evolving. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!


October 1 marked the beginning of FY 98 for the federal government, but not all FY 98 appropriations bills have been completed. Federal agencies and programs cannot operate without the enactment of these measures, so, to avoid such a government "shut down" (as has occurred in recent years), Congress passed -- and President Clinton signed -- a continuing resolution (CR) that provides funding for federal programs until midnight, October 23. Until then, programs for which FY 98 appropriations legislation has not yet been enacted will receive the same amount of funding they were granted in FY 97. However, with a weeklong recess scheduled in observance of Columbus Day, Congress will be hard-pressed to complete the remaining eight appropriations bills before the deadline.

Labor/HHS Appropriations: Your Calls Are Still Needed!!

A conference committee of House and Senate members is currently hammering out differences in the two chambers' bills and may complete its report as early as October 9. This is probably our community's last opportunity to have a real impact on this bill! The conference report will then go to the two chambers for final approval after which the bill will be presented for the president's signature. The White House has not yet issued its Statement of Administrative Position (SAP) on this bill. A SAP provides the administration's position on bills being considered by Congress.


(For a list of conference committee members, funding levels, and talking points, refer to the September 18 NETWORK ALERT or contact AIDS Action.)

1. Call Congress -- House: (202) 225-3121; Senate: (202) 224-3121.

If your representative or senator is a member of the conference committee, tell him/her to support the highest possible funding levels for all HIV/AIDS programs and strike the House provision that bans federal funding for syringe exchange programs.

If your representative or senator is not a member of the conference committee, tell him/her to communicate the same message -- highest possible funding for HIV/AIDS programs, no syringe exchange provision -- to the conference committee's leadership. Representatives should contact Reps. John Porter (R-IL) and David Obey (D-WI); Senators should contact Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA).

2. Call the White House at (202) 456-1111. Tell the administration to request the highest possible funding levels for federal HIV/AIDS programs and the exclusion of the syringe exchange provision.

VA/HUD Appropriations Update

A conference committee has completed work on the Veterans Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (VA/HUD) appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOWPA) program. The conference report will return to the House and Senate for final approval. The bill will then be submitted to President Clinton who supports the HOPWA funding request of $204 million (an increase of $8 million over FY 97 funding), but may refuse to sign the appropriations bill because of unrelated measures.

FASA Update

The conference report for the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government appropriations bill has been approved by both the House and Senate and the bill has been submitted President Clinton who is likely to sign it. Unfortunately, however, the bill still contains the provision that repeals the Federal Acquisitions and Streamlining Act (FASA), a measure that allows public hospitals, state and local health departments, and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) discounts in the purchase of pharmaceutical drugs.


The Senate passed its version of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "reform" bill last month. The House version has been approved by the Commerce Committee and will be considered by the full House perhaps as early as this week. The bills appear to be fairly similar and both contain provisions opposed by the HIV/AIDS community, although the House version currently includes language that would require pharmaceutical companies to give six months' notice before discontinuing the distribution of life-saving treatments.

For more information, contact:
AIDS Action
Kurt Schade, Network Correspondent
1875 Connecticut Ave., Suite 700
Washington, DC 20009
phone:(202) 986-1300, ext. 3060
fax: (202) 986-1345

A note from The field of medicine is constantly evolving. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.
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