PELOSI WINS BATTLES TO SHAPE $14.9B FOREIGN OPERATIONS SPENDING
Gag Rule on Global Family Planning is Repealed;
Debt Relief, Global HIV/AIDS and African Development Bank Funded
WASHINGTON – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-SF), ranking member of the House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee, hailed today’s passage of the $14.9 billion foreign aid spending bill by the House as a giant step toward the alleviation of poverty in the world.
"Today’s agreement is a victory for advocates of family planning around the globe," Pelosi said Wednesday. "It is a giant step forward in the global fight against AIDS and the bill’s debt forgiveness provisions are a major initiative in the alleviation of poverty worldwide."
Pelosi and her allies were successful in increasing funding for key foreign aid initiatives such as international debt relief, global HIV/AIDS and the African Development Bank and Fund.
"I’m pleased that HR 4811, the $14.9 billion FY2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, provides $435 million for debt relief for the world’s poorest countries in this Jubilee Year," Pelosi said. "I would also like to commend the Jubilee 2000 Campaign and President Clinton for their extraordinary leadership on these debt forgiveness issues."
Another Pelosi success was the elimination of the "gag rule" restrictions on U.S. international family planning funding that were passed last year as part of the FY2000 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. These damaging restrictions prevented a foreign non-governmental organization (NGO) from receiving U.S. population assistance unless that organization gives up its right to lobby its own government on family planning and abortion issues. Allocation of these funds will not be released until February 15, 2001.
"Today’s agreement is a victory for advocates of family planning around the globe," Pelosi said.
Pelosi especially praised Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) for her efforts to create an AIDS trust fund, which can be appropriated up to $20million, at the World Bank.