July 29, 2009
The Senate Appropriations Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Tuesday approved by voice vote its fiscal year 2010 spending bill draft, which excludes funding for abstinence-only sex education programs and, unlike the House bill, does not include language lifting the ban on the use of federal funding for needle exchange programs, CQ Today reports. According to the article, Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) "confirmed that the bill will not contain funding for abstinence-only education programs when the full committee marks it up on Thursday. Instead, the draft will contain funding for more comprehensive sex education, which can include teaching abstinence." Harkin also said that the Senate bill does not contain language lifting the ban on the needle exchange funding because that is "a matter for conference" (Wolfe, 7/28).