January 13, 2003
Congress has returned to work and efforts are underway to pass a final appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2003. HIV/AIDS programs such as the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) are currently being funded through a series of "continuing resolutions," or temporary spending bills, until Congress can negotiate a final bill.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass another continuing resolution until the end of January, to allow time for negotiating a final bill. It will then work on drafting an "omnibus" appropriations bill, which will combine all the various spending bills into one. It is expected that this bill will be negotiated by a small group, with little opportunity for most House members to debate or amend the bill.
The Senate, however, is expected to pass separate appropriations bills, with opportunities for individual Senators to debate and amend the bills before they are finalized. A joint House/Senate conference committee will eventually come together to work out differences between the two versions.
Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) are circulating a sign-on letter to other Senators urging Senate appropriators to provide the $162 million increase for ADAP identified by experts as needed to address the current fiscal crisis in the program. If enough Senators sign this letter, it may provide a new chance to obtain a meaningful and desperately needed increase for ADAP in the final appropriations bill.
Please call your two U.S. Senators immediately, in their Washington, DC office. Ask to speak to the legislative staffer who handles HIV/AIDS issues. Whether you speak to that person live or leave a message, tell them:
Sample Phone Message
"I am a constituent of Senator ____________s and I urge him/her to sign the letter by Senators Schumer and Clinton that urges a $162 million increase over the Presidents request for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. This program is in a fiscal crisis in many states and this increase is desperately needed to ensure that people living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatment. To sign this letter, please contact Heather McLean in Senator Schumer's office, Heather_McLean@schumer.senate.gov, or
Please act on this Alert quickly and urge your family, friends, coworkers, etc. to do the same!
You can reach your Senators toll-free through the Capitol switchboard toll-free at 1-800-648-3516. Ask to be transferred to their offices.
Dont know who your representative is? Call 1-888-VOTE-SMART or visit www.vote-smart.org.
Please forward this Alert to your friends, family, colleagues, etc. and ask them to take action!
For more information, contact one of the following SAVE ADAP members:
Bill Arnold (D.C.)
Jean-Michel Brevelle (Maryland)
Steve Carroll (Oregon)
Lei Chou (New York)
Ryan Clary (California)
Lynda Dee (Maryland)
Amanda Diers (Florida)
Sue Gibson (Texas)
Kathie Hiers (Alabama)
Patrick Lee (North Carolina)
Jim Musslewhite (Washington)
David Munar (Illinois)
Robert O'Brien (Pennsylvania)
Jerry Spillman (California)