Although a Senate vote on a spending bill containing $2.4 billion in funding for the global AIDS initiative will be delayed until January, initiative coordinator Randall Tobias says the money will be disbursed as soon as it is appropriated, National Public Radio reports. The House approved the spending bill last week, but the Senate won't vote on the measure until it reconvenes on January 20, following its winter break.
"Things don't move as rapidly in the U.S. government as they do in the private sector, but this has broad-based support," Tobias said of the spending bill and the Senate delay in approving it. "Many of these countries just simply don't have the ability to absorb the money as quickly as we might like to get it out the door; we're going to begin by putting money in programs that already exist and can be ramped up. But certainly over the course of the first fiscal year we will spend what will be appropriated, and that is something between $2 and $2.4 billion."