Dole Holds to his Word, Schedules Ryan White Vote for July 21
(Washington, DC) – The office of the Senate Majority Leader confirmed with Log Cabin Republicans today that he has scheduled floor time for a vote on the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act for July 21, 1995. The Ryan White CARE Act is the federal government's care and treatment program for people living with HIV and AIDS. "Dole has proven the activists wrong again. By scheduling floor time for a vote he has proven he is not a prisoner of Jesse Helms or the far right. Dole is man with good conscience who knows Ryan White is good for America," said Richard Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans.
Dole has faced increasing criticism from gay and AIDS groups for not bringing Ryan White to the Senate floor for a vote, even when the Majority Leader is a co-sponsor himself. Dole's announcement today again proves that Republican leaders are sensitive to issues facing the gay and lesbian community and are to be commended for their leadership in spite of the unfair criticism. Critics of Dole have complained the Majority Leader wanted to avoid a floor fight with virulent anti-gay Senator Jesse Helms.
With more than 60 co-sponsors on the Ryan White reauthorization, Dole is assured of a cloture vote passing, which will end any filibuster on the part of Senator Helms. Helms has placed a "notify" on the bill which notifies the Senator when the bill comes to the floor so that he may offer amendments. Helms has said publicly that AIDS receives a disproportional amount of money as compared to other diseases like cancer and lung disease.