Domestic AIDS Advocates Call for Urgent Action to Pass Omnibus

Jodi Jacobson

If the omnibus fails, critical AIDS programs will be flat-funded as will other sexual and reproductive health programs, and funding for misleading abstinence-only programs will remain high.

Domestic HIV/AIDS advocacy groups have launched an urgent mobilization effort to ensure passage of the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) Omnibus legislation, which may be threatened by Senators who have indicated they may vote against it.

The Omnibus Appropriations Bill includes funding for the majority of domestic HIV/ AIDS programs. 
The current legislation includes the following funding and provisions:

  • a $71.6 million increase for the Ryan White Program, which provides health care for people living with AIDS;
  • a $10 million increase in HOPWA (housing for people with AIDS);
  • an increase of $938 million for research under the National Institutes of Health; and
  • a reduction of $14 million in funding for ineffective abstinence-only programs.


The bill also includes $1.4 million to the White House to develop the National AIDS Strategy.

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The action alert sent out by CHAMP (the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project) states:

"It is vital that the Senate pass the FY 2009 Omnibus without amendment this week to ensure that funding is increased for these and other lifesaving programs that impact people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
If the Senate does not pass the Omnibus, we will instead have a Continuing Resolution at FY 2008 funding levels. This means:
– Flat funding for domestic HIV/AIDS Programs
– Continued high funds for abstience-only
– No funding for a National AIDS Strategy."

According to CHAMP, the following Senators have indicated they
are against the omnibus or undecided on how they will vote on it’s

CHAMP asks that if your Senator is on this list please call them immediately.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. Christopher
(R-MO), Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Sen.
Ben Nelson
(D-FL), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), Sen. Claire McCaskill
(D-MO),  Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Lisa
(R-AK), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
The action alert can be found here:
Please also tell your Senator to vote against any efforts to undercut funding to the United Nations Population Fund, or to undermine the Affordable Birth Control Act.


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