Global health programs targeting HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis got a surprise boost on Tuesday when the House Appropriations Committee took up the foreign affairs spending bill.
Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., successfully offered an amendment adding $50 million to global TB programs, a welcome move particularly given growing threat of drug-resistant TB. This boost followed a letter to Lowey from Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., and about 40 other lawmakers requesting additional money for TB programs.
The committee also agreed to provide $750 million for the US contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a boost of $150 million over FY 2009 funding. That is still well below the congressionally authorized level. The Fund currently faces a $4 billion donation gap, and advocates are pressing for much more. Click here to read more about the implications of the Fund’s financing crisis.
Overall, the panel approved $7.784 billion for global health programs, $190 million more than President Obama requested and about $670 million more than FY 2009 funding levels. Here are some of the details on HIV and TB programs:
*International AIDS programs, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, would get $5.75 billion under the House plan—that’s $150 million more than the White House requested and $250 million more than the current year’s budget. The Global Fund would get $750 million, $150 million more than the White House sought and about $50 million more than a subcommittee approved last week. (That figure will be bolstered by another still-to-be-determined pot of money coming through the spending bill that funds domestic health and labor programs.)
*Bilateral TB programs would get about $250 million under this proposal, reflecting Lowey’s $50 million boost from the level approved by her subcommittee just last week. The House plan is above the president’s $173 million request and FY 2009’s $163 million level, but still short of the $650 million advocates say is necessary for this often neglected disease.
Click here to read our post from last week when the foreign affairs subcommittee, chaired by Lowey, took up this measure.
The full House is expected to vote on this spending bill soon; the Senate Appropriations Committee will draft its version next month. Stay tuned—we’ll be keeping a close eye on these vital funding decisions.
To learn more or to get involved now, contact David Bryden at firstname.lastname@example.org.