The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a fiscal year 2004 foreign aid budget of $17.1 billion that includes $1.43 billion to fight AIDS overseas. The full House on July 10 approved a separate spending bill that included $644 million for foreign AIDS research and $155 million for combating other infectious diseases in developing nations. If the bill approved by the Appropriations Committee is passed, total House allocations for international AIDS efforts for fiscal 2004 will top $2 billion, about $1 billion less than the $3 billion President Bush pledged to spend each year through the recently approved international AIDS initiative.
The Appropriations Committee rejected along party lines an amendment offered by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) that would have added $1 billion in emergency spending to the AIDS bill, all of which would have been channeled to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The committee also rejected an amendment introduced by Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) that would have shifted $500 million from the Millennium Challenge Account, an economic assistance program for poor nations, to international AIDS spending. The Senate has yet to address spending for global AIDS efforts, but last week it did pass a nonbinding resolution calling for spending of at least $3 billion in fiscal 2004.