FY 98 APPROPRIATIONS
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.
AIDS Action: CALL YOUR MEMBERS AND THE WHITE HOUSE NOW!
(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
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
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
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.
FDA "REFORM" STILL LOOMS
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:
Kurt Schade, Network Correspondent
1875 Connecticut Ave., Suite 700
Washington, DC 20009
phone:(202) 986-1300, ext. 3060
fax: (202) 986-1345