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WASHINGTON - Today Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) testified before the House Budget Committee on the importance of investing in HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and research both domestically and internationally.
“We have received estimates from the House Budget Committee that non-NIH discretionary health spending will need to be cut significantly to account for President Bush’s tax cut. Given the significant level of unmet need in the areas of HIV/AIDS care, treatment, prevention, and housing, enactment of these proposed cuts would be disastrous.
“Investments in HIV/AIDS have significantly strengthened our ability to combat this global pandemic and dramatically improved the lives of the millions of people who are living with the disease. It is imperative that we do not abandon this important commitment,” Pelosi said at the hearing.
Rep. Pelosi called on the Budget Committee to double funding for global AIDS programs and to include substantial increases for the Ryan White CARE Act, HIV prevention, substance abuse treatment, and housing for people with HIV/AIDS. She also emphasized the importance of strengthening efforts to combat HIV/AIDS within communities of color through the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative.
“Unfortunately, President Bush’s budget outline does not emphasize the need for strong investments in the HIV/AIDS programs administered by HRSA and the CDC. These investments are a vital complement to NIH research and I urge my colleagues on the Budget Committee to include substantial increases for these programs in the budget resolution,” Pelosi said.
Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA), Chairman of the Budget Committee, responded to Rep. Pelosi's testimony by offering to hold a special hearing on HIV/AIDS issues later this year. "I was encouraged to hear that Chairman Nussle recognizes the importance of this issue and is taking the unusual step of planning a special hearing on HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases." said Pelosi.
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