U.S. Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS: A Breakdown of the FY2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
Last week, the FY2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was passed by U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 17, 2014. This bill will fund the U.S. government through September 30, 2014. The omnibus contains all 12 regular appropriations bills for fiscal year 2014, with an overall spending level that was agreed upon in a previous compromise led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Here at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), we have been paying especially close attention to the funding levels for State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS), and Labor Health and Human Services (LHHS), which support critical HIV/AIDS programs and biomedical research.
We are very pleased that Congress passed the omnibus bill instead of another continuing resolution. However, the proverbial glass may be half full or half empty depending on how you look at the numbers.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund) have been funded at President Obama’s requested levels. These programs were not targeted for additional cuts for fiscal year 2014, and will continue to provide lifesaving prevention, care, and treatment services for millions of people worldwide.
Unfortunately, PEPFAR funding remains at its lowest level since 2008, and more than $500 million lower than 2010, when funding was at its highest.
In addition, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) received a $1 billion funding increase from fiscal year 2013 post-sequestration levels, which is important to advancing vital research programs such as an HIV/AIDS vaccine and a cure. However, this funding level actually falls short of the level requested by the Senate and President Obama and is nearly $1 billion less than 2012 funding levels.
EGPAF will continue to work with Congress in 2014 to ensure stronger funding levels for PEPFAR, NIH, and other critical HIV/AIDS programs and infrastructure.