US House Plans Hearings on HIV Prevention and Sexuality Education In Schools; Istook Amendment Is Dead; VA/HUD Sent Back to Conference Committee.
November 28, 1995
Hearings on HIV Education In Schools
To fulfill a promise made by Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) to Traditional Values Coalition founder Reverend Lou Sheldon, House member Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) has agreed to conduct two days of hearings titled "Parents, Schools, and Values" on December 5 and 6. Former Secretary of Education and Drug Czar William Bennett will be the lead witness for the hearing.
HIV prevention and sexuality education programs are effective and do not promote sexual behavior of any kind. Furthermore, these programs are developed at the local level by parents and schools to respond to individual community needs. A Congress that supports less government and local control has no business second guessing the appropriateness of programs approved by parents, teachers and community leaders.
AIDS Action Council believes Congress should not be giving The Traditional Values Coalition a taxpayer funded platform to promote their extreme right agenda, and that the hearings should be canceled.
Call Representative Hoekstra at 202-225-4401 and insist the hearings be canceled. He can be reached via e-mail at TELLHOEK@HR.HOUSE.GOV or USAVOICE@HR.HOUSE.GOV
Also call your own representative and express your concerns, especially with regard to HIV and AIDS education. (U.S. Capitol Switchboard 202-225-3121) E-mail addresses for your Representatives can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.
Istook Amendment Is Dead:
Thanks to the concerted effort of community groups across the country, both the Istook and McIntosh amendments were withdrawn from consideration on the Lobby Reform Bill during the House session Tuesday night, November 28. Congressional offices reported that they were deluged with calls and letters from across the country on this issue. The toll free number set up by the "Let America Speak Coalition" generated 6,000 calls!
Representatives Istook and McIntosh have responded by promising to bring this amendment up at a future date. Since the amendment will be back, we must be prepared. We will keep you informed when this happens. For now, congratulations to the non-profit sector and many thanks to all for your hard work.
The House of Representatives today voted 216-208 to send the FY 96 VA/HUD appropriations conference report back to the conference committee. The practical effect of this is that decisions about FY 96 VA/HUD funding will be made in the context of negotiations on all the other incomplete and therefore un-signed appropriations bills, (i.e., Labor/HHS) and the massive Budget Reconciliation bill. We continue to be concerned that in these sweeping and far reaching negotiations between the Republican congressional leadership and the White House, funding for vital housing programs like HOPWA and the McKinney/HAG (Homeless Assistance Grants) could get traded off in order to fund other items identified as priorities by the Congress and/or the Clinton Administration.
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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.