U.S. Government Expected To Announce Next Week Plans for Spending $2.4B for AIDS, TB, Malaria Initiatives, Powell Says
The U.S. government is expected to announce next week how it plans to spend $2.4 billion for international AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programs in fiscal year 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell said during a press briefing on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 1/29). Funding for the first installment of President Bush's five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative is contained in an omnibus spending bill (HR 2673), which the Senate passed late last week. House-Senate conferees in November 2003 agreed to increase FY 2004 federal spending on international AIDS, TB and malaria initiatives to $2.4 billion, $400 million more than the Bush administration had requested. Although the measure (HR 1298) supporting the global AIDS initiative authorizes $3 billion for the first year of the program, the Bush administration requested only $2 billion for FY 2004. Bush said that his administration requested less than $3 billion in order to give the program time to "ramp up" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/29). "You will see that it will be a significant commitment of funds: new funds for new programs as well as a continuation of our efforts with our bilateral programs and our support of the [Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria]," Powell said, adding, "[S]o the president has a strong commitment to HIV/AIDS, and when you see how the money is going to be flowing out rather quickly in the near future, the commitment the president has made will be quite evident, and I think the American people will be proud of what we are doing" (State Department release, 1/29). According to Agence France-Presse, Bush administration officials said that the announcement on how the FY 2004 AIDS money will be spent likely will be made on Tuesday, one day after Bush is expected to present his FY 2005 budget (Agence France-Presse, 1/29). According to White House officials, Bush will request $2.7 billion for AIDS, TB and malaria programs in his FY 2005 budget proposal (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/29).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.