The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations voted Tuesday on its funding bill for global health and foreign assistance programs beginning Oct. 1, 2012. The committee voted to fund the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the president’s budget request of $1.65 billion – which would fulfill the U.S. four-year, $4 billion pledge to the Fund. However, it appears that the Senate has allocated approximately the same amount of funding to the Global Fund plus the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) as it did last year, but has apportioned the money differently to fulfill the U.S. pledge to the Global Fund. This translates into a reduction in PEPFAR funding by approximately $350 million compared to FY 12 levels, which is higher than the president’s request of $4.0 billion. The House bill would maintain funding at FY 12 levels ($4.6 billion).
Good news for global tuberculosis (TB) funding, which secured $265 million in the Senate subcommittee vote—a $29 million increase from both current funding and the funding level determined by the House last week for FY13. According to sources, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke up in support of global TB funding during today’s subcommittee vote.