03.09.09

Enzi: Seante to Uphold Fair Distribution of Life-Saving HIV/AIDS Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) today urged the Senate to approvehis amendment to ensure that the House Democratic Leadership does not use the omnibusappropriations bill to cheat struggling communities out of funds they desperately need to combatthe spread of HIV/AIDS, in order to steer that money to their home districts.

“The omnibus appropriations package would take money away from vulnerablepopulations and give it to a few large cities like San Francisco,” said Enzi, Ranking Member ofthe Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Money for HIV/AIDStreatment should go to the people who need it, regardless of where they live.”

“There are people across the country who are dying while on waiting lists to get thetreatment they need. If the Senate does not overturn this egregious provision, more people willdie so that San Francisco can continue to get more than its fair share of HIV/AIDS funding.”

The omnibus package includes a provision to overturn the bipartisan funding formulasthat the Senate and House carefully negotiated in the reauthorization of the Ryan WhiteComprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act in 2006. The formulas in thereauthorization distributed funds to treat HIV/AIDS more fairly across the country, particularlyin rural areas and the South, where the disease is spreading most rapidly.

The House Democratic Leadership inserted a provision to the omnibus appropriationsbill, HR 1105, that would revert to the funding levels prior to the 2006 reauthorization. Those outdated formulas did not take into account HIV cases, only cases that had progressed to thefinal stage of AIDS, and favored cities like San Francisco, which have been receiving far morethan their fair share of federal dollars. The Enzi amendment would uphold the formulas thatCongress established in the 2006 reauthorization.

“This end run goes against the very core of the mission of the Ryan Whitereauthorization, which revised critically flawed funding formulas to ensure that federal dollarsare used to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic of today, not yesterday,” Enzi said.

####

Press Contact

Craig Orfield (202) 224-6770