Democrats Propose $463.5B Spending Bill

Daily Reports | 30 Jan 2007
Congressional Democrats on Monday released a $463.5 billion spending resolution (HJ Res 20) for fiscal year 2007 that includes a $1.3 billion increase for international HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programs, bringing the total for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to $4.5 billion, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports (Taylor, AP/Houston Chronicle, 1/30). PEPFAR is a five-year, $15 billion program that directs funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria primarily to 15 focus countries and provides funding to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/12). The $4.5 billion for PEPFAR includes $3.2 billion for the State Department's Global HIV/AIDS Initiative, $712 million for USAID's Child Survival and Health Program, and $494 million for CDC and HHS global HIV/AIDS activities, according to a House Appropriations Committee summary. Of these amounts, $724 million would be allocated for the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund, with $625 million coming from the State Department and USAID, and $99 million from HHS. In addition, $248 million would be allocated to expand programs under the President's Malaria Initiative, an increase of $149 million. The resolution also allocates an additional $75.8 million in funding for the Ryan White CARE Act , which provides care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., to bring its funding to $1.2 billion (House Appropriations Committee summary, 1/29). However, the resolution does not appear to grant Bush's request to increase funding for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a program meant to encourage economic and political reforms in developing countries, the AP/CBS News reports. According to the AP/CBS news, the resolution would freeze most other federal spending at 2006 levels (Taylor, AP/CBS News, 1/30). "I don't expect people to love this proposal, I don't love this proposal, and we probably have made some wrong choices," House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey (D-Wis.) said, adding, "At least we have made them in order to bring last year's issues to a conclusion so we can turn the page and deal with next year's priorities." The bill is scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday, the AP/Chronicle reports (AP/Houston Chronicle, 1/30).