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As Lame Duck Budget Negotiations Move Forward, HIV Funding Hangs In The Balance

As the attentions of most media outlets and of the general public remain fixed on the drama surrounding the formation of President-elect Trump's cabinet, Congress once again finds itself tackling another self-imposed budget crisis. The continuing resolution that was passed to keep the Federal government funded in September is set to expire on December 9th, which means the fate of HIV funding for Fiscal Year 2017 has become embroiled in a larger political battle over how soon the Trump administration will be able to put its stamp on the nation's budget. HIV/AIDS advocates are pushing hard for a catch-all omnibus bill that would prevent any cuts to domestic HIV programs, but the Trump administration & House Republicans have other ideas.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, November 18, 2016


As STD Rates Soar, Prevention Spending Cuts Continue to Loom Large

The results of the 2015 STD Surveillance Report that was recently released by the Centers for Disease Control were staggering, but not shocking. With Congress failing to provide a single funding increase for STD programs over the last 13 years and over half of all state and local STD programs being subject to large budget cuts, it's shouldn't come as a surprise that we are now seeing the highest number of combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis ever recorded in the United States. With the Senate proposing a further $5 million cut to the CDC's Division of STD Prevention, must things continue to get worse before action is taken?

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, October 28, 2016


Congress Ekes Out Funding Compromise

Well past the 11th hour, Congress managed to once again cobble together a Continuing Resolution to keep the government running for the next 10 weeks. While the measure passed with bipartisan support, potential conflict waits in the wings with many funding priorities such as money to address the water crisis in Flint, Michigan simply kicked down the road. Next up is determining whether or not to fund the 11 remaining appropriations bills for FY 2017 in an omnibus bill or a series of smaller, "minibuses".

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, September 30, 2016


Another Year, Another Shutdown Threat

With a presidential election less than 2 months away and control of Congress hanging in the balance, the Senate has decided that now would be an excellent time to get into a game of chicken over another Continuing Resolution. With another government shutdown looming, will they be able to salvage a deal at the eleventh hour?

Posted By: Policy Department, AIDS United - Friday, September 23, 2016


Congress Grapples With Continued Delays Over Funding Bill

The clock is ticking down to the end of the fiscal year and Congress still doesn't have its budgetary house in order. A majority of members from both parties want a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown, but agreeing on how long it would last is proving difficult. Will a deal get done and what is in the best interests of people living with HIV?

Posted By: Policy Department, AIDS United - Friday, September 16, 2016


Congress at an Impasse over Zika and Contentious Policy Riders

Congress continues to grapple with its inability to bridge the partisan divide as it struggles to complete its top duties: funding the federal government and serving the best interests of the American people. While the House and Senate Appropriations committees can boast progress at the committee level—with the Senate Appropriations committee passing all 12 annual funding bills—neither chamber can boast passing more than three funding measures on their respective floors and there is little likelihood that any will be signed into law by the end of fiscal year on September 30th. This is particularly so given the limited work days remaining in the legislative calendar, with recesses taking place around the July 4th holiday and July 16th to September 5th.

Posted By: AIDS United Policy Department - Friday, July 01, 2016


Science Alone Can't Create a Just World

I often talk about what it was like testing HIV-positive in 1992, when the only treatment available was AZT. Today, I consider the bounty of treatments available and the many more in development. I think of what science has done for me, this field, and for so many others like me. Yet science alone can’t create a just world. In its purest form, science can be cold, calculated, and simply focused on what can be proven true or false. Science has delivered both cures and bombs, has been used for both good and bad. While science has the potential to fix much of what ails us — it won’t work for the advancement of us all without being firmly steeped in and led by our values.

Posted By: Michael Kaplan, President & CEO, AIDS United - Tuesday, June 28, 2016


A House Divided

The U.S. Congress is responsible for setting the laws that govern the United States, and funding the federal programs and initiatives that serve the American people. Yet, year after year, the “new normal” has become a broken down funding process filled with divisive policy riders and breakneck countdowns to our government either running out of money or defaulting on our debt obligations. Further evidence of this was seen this week with the appropriations process stalling in the House and Senate. While the Senate will be in session four days next week, the House has taken its July 4th recess with only nine legislative days left in its schedule before a month and a half-long recess, Congress risks adjourning for the national conventions and for August with inaction on gun control, incomplete federal appropriations, and no plan to address the emerging health crisis threatened by the Zika virus.

Posted By: AIDS United Policy Department - Friday, June 24, 2016


Senate Makes Headway on Health Funding

This week the Senate overcame a major appropriations hurdle by passing the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill out of committee with bipartisan support. The bill passed full committee by a vote of 29 yeas and 1 nay, Senator Lankford (R-OK) was the only member to vote “No” on the bill. Free of divisive policy riders like defunding Planned Parenthood or Obamacare, this marks the first time in seven years the committee passed the legislation on a bipartisan basis. Considering that the funding level is $270 million below this year’s amount, we are encouraged that it largely provides level funding for most domestic HIV programs. However, the bill proposes to cut some critical programs, including $29 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, $6 million from the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI), and provides no increases for hepatitis prevention programs at the CDC.

Posted By: AIDS United Policy Department - Friday, June 10, 2016


Congress Update: Appropriations Process Stalling

Following last week's display of conservatism towards LGBT-inclusive employment non-discrimination protections in federal contracting, Congress continues to attempt movement on federal appropriations at a painstakingly slow rate. The difficulties around clearing appropriations are of particular concern to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who pledged a return to regular order. For Ryan, that means considering appropriations bills one at a time through the subcommittee and committee process and then onward to final passage by the full house. It also means that the process would be open to amendments from both sides of the aisle during floor debate.

Posted By: AIDS United Policy Department - Friday, May 27, 2016

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