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Final Negotiations on HOPWA Increase Underway Now

September 11, 1996

Both the House and Senate have now formally named conferees for the FY '97 VA/HUD appropriations bill (see below). Informal conference negotiations have already begun, although conferees are not expected to meet formally until next week. By that time, however, they will have a completed conference report that can quickly be agreed to and sent to the floors of the House and Senate for final passage.

To date, our attempts to get conferees to agree to the $25 million increase for HOPWA requested by the President have been frustrated by the Administration itself, which has been unconscionably slow in coming up with real offsets for the HOPWA increase. Without any real offsets on the table, it has been virtually impossible to have serious discussions or negotiations about including the $25 million increase in the conference report.

Today however, as a result of intense pressure from the community and some of our friends inside OMB and HUD, the Administration finally identified real offsets. Serious conference negotiations to ensure the FY '97 VA/HUD conference report includes the full $196 million for HOPWA can now begin.

But time is running out.

AIDS Action:

Contact your Senators, Representatives and the White House NOW! Tell them HOPWA must be funded at $196 million -- the President's revised FY '97 budget request -- in the VA/HUD appropriations conference report. Without an increase in HOPWA, more and more people living with HIV/AIDS across the nation will face homelessness; without stable housing, they cannot access care or benefit from the promise of new drug therapies. There can be no excuses for failing to increase FY '97 funding for HOPWA. If the Administration and congress work hard enough, they can find the $25 million needed. Tell them to just do it!

NOTE: If congressional staffers ask you where the additional funding -- "the offset" -- for HOPWA will come from, tell them to call OMB or HUD for the details.

House Conferees: Lewis(R-CA), DeLay(R-TX), Walsh(R-NY), Hobson(R-OH), Vucanovich(R-NV), Knollenberg(R-MI), Frelinghuysen(R-NJ), Neumann(R-WI), Livingston(R-LA), Stokes(D-OH), Mollohan(D-WV), Chapman(D-TX), Kaptur(D-OH), and Obey(D-WI).

Senate Conferees: Bond(R-MO), Burns(R-MT), Stevens(R-AK), Shelby(R-AL), Bennett(R-UT), Nighthorse Campbell(R-CO), Hatfield(R-OR), Mikulski(D-MD), Leahy(D-VT), Johnston(D-LA), Lautenberg(D-NJ), Kerrey (D-NJ) and Byrd(D-WV).

All members of the House can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, and all Senators can be reached at 202-224-3121. E-mail addresses for your Representatives and Senators can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.

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.
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