House votes signal strong opposition to domestic HIV funding cuts
House Defeats HIV Amendments & Fails to Pass Flawed Spending Bills
Washington DC… Recent votes by the U.S. House of Representatives that unsuccessfully sought to cut domestic HIV programs offer a clear signal that even a wide majority of the House reject domestic HIV funding cuts.
Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to the Labor, HHS appropriation bill that would have eliminated the HHS Minority HIV/AIDS Fund by a vote of 109 to 324. On that vote, more Republicans (110) voted against the amendment than for it. An amendment to cut AIDS research at the NIH was made in order by leadership but ultimately was never offered.
The week before, the House rejected an amendment to the Treasury, HUD appropriation bill that would have totally eliminated the Housing Opportunity for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program by a vote of 144 to 282, with 71 Republicans voting against it.
Both bills contain massive spending cuts and cruel policy riders and were pulled from the House floor before final passage due to the lack of support.
“It is time for the House leadership to scrap their divisive plans, which clearly do not enjoy support from a majority of the Congress, and instead focus on appropriation bills that can pass and are in line with the budget agreement, as the Senate has done,” commented Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute.
Yesterday, HIV+Hep urged all members of the House to oppose the harmful HIV amendments and the overall Labor, HHS Appropriations bill due to the $767 million in cuts to domestic HIV prevention and treatment programs, including elimination of the entire Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative that was begun by former President Trump.
President Biden has issued a veto threat for the House Labor, HHS bill if it were to pass in part due to the domestic HIV funding cuts. The statement of administration policy stated, “The Administration is concerned that the bill dramatically reduces funding to prevent, diagnose, and treat HIV/AIDS infections. For example, by eliminating over $500 million in funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and CDC, the bill would reduce critical clinical and testing services, increased access to PrEP for individuals at risk of infection, and essential HIV care in areas with high rates of new HIV infections. These cuts will reverse current progress toward ending the HIV epidemic.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a spending bill that maintains current domestic HIV programs on a bipartisan basis, and even proposes an increase of $3 million for CDC’s HIV prevention programs.
HIV+Hep commends the leadership of Appropriations Ranking Minority member Rosa DeLauro for her amazing leadership in leading the charge against the damaging HIV and so many other amendments to the Labor, HHS bill.
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The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute is a national, non-profit organization whose mission is to promote quality and affordable healthcare for people living with or at risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other serious and chronic health conditions.