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Senate Panel Votes to Raise AIDS Funding
  source: CDC Prevention News
Associated Press (09.15.04)::Alan Fram
On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $2.4 billion next year to fight AIDS, TB and malaria abroad - mostly in Africa - potentially boosting funding by $200 million more than President Bush proposed.
The funding was part of a total $19.5 billion foreign aid bill that also cut the Millennium Challenge program from Bush’s proposed $2.5 billion to $1.1 billion. The Millennium program provides aid to countries that adhere to democratic and free-market practices. The Senate cut reflects a similar decrease approved in the House.
The Senate bill would make it more difficult for Bush to block funding for international family planning programs, as he has done previously. Senators tried before to do that, but provisions that allowed Bush to block the funding were restored.
The Senate committee also approved $145.9 billion for labor, health and education programs, an increase of some $7 billion over this year. The measure includes increases over 2004 spending for community health centers and abstinence education.
The measure exceeds by $3.6 billion the budget ceiling approved by the Senate. The majority of extra funds were made accessible by delaying for three days payments due to Supplemental Security Income recipients. The calendar shift pushes those checks, due on Sept. 30, 2005, into the 2006 budget year. The government’s new budget year starts Oct. 1.
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