GOP House, Bush Administration Push Key AIDS Funding Increase
Ryan White CARE Act Increased by $112 million, Targeting Crucial ADAP Treatment Assistance; White House Tells Congress Increase is a Priority
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization applauded President Bush and the House of Representatives for pushing a $112 million funding increase for the Ryan White CARE Act in the midst of a serious national crisis.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS, chaired by Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH), voted October 4 to add the Ryan White increase. Log Cabin Republicans joined White House Director of National AIDS Policy Scott Evertz in lobbying the committee for the increase, which has been strongly supported by Congressional Republicans every year since the GOP takeover of Congress.
More than half of the increase is earmarked for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which funds access to life-saving HIV/AIDS drug treatments through state AIDS directors. ADAP is a key policy priority for Log Cabin Republicans.
As the bill moved to the floor of the House today, the White House communicated a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) adding its support for the increase in Ryan White funding.
"We applaud Chairman Regula, the House of Representatives and the Bush Administration for taking a strong leadership role in the fight against AIDS, even as we face the global challenges of the current war on terrorism," said Kevin Ivers, Log Cabin Republicans Director of Public Affairs. "In particular, we thank Scott Evertz for his tireless and effective leadership in securing funding commitments and keeping AIDS squarely in focus at a time of war. None of this could have happened without him."
"This was also the first HIV/AIDS appropriation under the leadership of Chairman Regula, and we commend his extraordinary skill in putting together a bi-partisan bill with essential funding commitments and broad support in these difficult times for our nation," Ivers said.
The White House SAP builds on President Bush's budget request for a $2.5 billion increase in research funding at the National Institutes of Health, and the announcement of a $200 million seed grant to a global trust fund to build infrastructure and provide treatment in the fight against AIDS in Africa.
"We will be working with the White House to support Republican allies in the Senate in their efforts to protect this crucial $112 million funding increase for Ryan White," Ivers said.
Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republican organization, with state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time national office and a federal political action committee.