Congress approves $2.9 billion in AIDS spending
Congress on Saturday passed an omnibus spending bill that includes $2.9 billion to fight AIDS--$2.3 billion for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and $600 million for domestic AIDS programs. The House approved the bill, which combines nine smaller spending measures, by a 344-51 vote; the Senate approved the legislation by a 65-30 vote. The PEPFAR funding is $99 million more than President Bush had requested. The international AIDS spending measure cuts the U.S. contribution to the United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to $350 million for 2005, down almost $200 million from this year's contribution.