Sequestration still impacting critical HIV/AIDS programming
Washington, DC – For the first time since 2011, both chambers of Congress are poised to pass an omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government until October of this year and put at least a temporary end to the ceaseless brinksmanship that has plagued Washington.
“Following last year’s shut down debacle, it seems that Congress has finally gotten the message that Americans expect them to put politics aside and do the job that they were elected to do,” said National Minority AIDS Council Assistant Director of Communications Kyle Murphy. “For years, we have been operating on a series of continuing resolutions that consistently left future funding in question. We have also been operating under the draconian cuts brought on by sequestration. Today’s vote has put an end to this much of this chaos – at least until October.”
The deal, which was struck by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), restored much of the critical HIV/AIDS funding that had been stripped away by sequestration. The Ryan White program will receive $70 million more than it did last year – including $14 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will see $19 million more for HIV prevention than it did in 2013, while the National Institutes of Health’s Office of AIDS Research will receive an additional $100 million.
“But while we appreciate the restoration of much of the funds that sequestration had stripped from HIV/AIDS care and prevention programs,” added Daniel C. Montoya, Deputy Executive Director, “the amount allocated for fiscal year 2014 is still considerably lower than what was allocated in 2012 and before the sequester took effect last year. We are at a critical juncture in our fight against this epidemic. Advances in science have provided powerful new tools to prevent infections, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), but communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted, with gay and bisexual men – especially Black gay men – facing alarming increases. Now is not the time to relent, but rather recommit to the struggle to end this epidemic. And we cannot do this unless Congress allocates appropriate funding to our programs.”
Kyle Murphy, (202) 803-8027