Category archives: Government

Congress Blocks Funding of Baby AIDS Program (Update)

by Family Research Council

February 21, 2007

Last week I wrote about Congress’ de-funding of the Baby AIDS program Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) believed the move was retribution by appropriators for his militant stance on spending, as well as for his criticism of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while others claimed the initiative was simply an unfortunate casualty of earmark reform.

The new House appropriations chief David Obey (D-WI) even attempted to use this line of reasoning, claiming “Many worthwhile earmarks are not funded in this measure, but we had to take this step to clear the decks, clean up the process and start over.”

But notes Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal, The key language here is not funded in this measure,…

Congressional members, led by appropriators and an army of staff, have already figured out a new way to keep their favors in the money, and it might as well be called 1-800-EARMARKS (which unfortunately is already taken). All across Washington, members are at this moment phoning budget officers at federal agencies—Interior, Defense, HUD, you name it—privately demanding that earmarks in previous legislation be fully renewed again this year.

To ensure this back door option wouldnt be available to Coburn, language was included in the bill that explicitly stated that None of the funds appropriated by this division may be used for the infant AIDS program. Someone at the CDC was apparently still upset over another one of the Senators amendment to move $60 million from the CDC construction program to another AIDS reduction program.

Although the language will try to be overridden, Coburns staff is unsure that the money would actually be used for HIV/AIDS testing and prevention. In a memo to the CDC they wrote:

The $30 million will instead revert to other CDC HIV/AIDS prevention activities, which in recent years have included beachside conferences, flirting classes, erotic writing seminars, zoo trips and other dubious initiatives that do not have the same impact as HIV diagnosis and treatment,” the memo states.

So what would the CDC do with the money? Previous earmarks may offer a clue to what would happen to the funding. Here are just a handful of the activities that the CDC has paid for through the STOP AIDS Project. [Note: I started to post it here but even using asterisks to indicate edits for decency, it was still too filthy and disgusting to put on on this blog. Instead Ill refer you to the Abstinence Clearinghouse website. (Scroll down halfway down the page)]

Keep in mind that these are programs that are being funded with your tax dollars. These are the types of prevention programs that the CDC believes are more worthy of funding than one that protects babies from acquiring HIV.

Elderly Homosexual Atheists Need Not Apply

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

If you’re a 72 year-old homosexual who doesn’t believe in God your chances of being elected POTUS are rather slim.That’s one of the conclusions that could be gleaned from a recent Gallup poll on presidential candidates. The poll asked Americans whether they would vote for “a generally well-qualified” presidential candidate nominated by their party with each of the following characteristics: Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, an atheist, a woman, black, Hispanic, homosexual, 72 years of age, and someone married for the third time. The results:

gallup_20070219_diversity.png

According to Gallup, only about one in five Americans said they would vote for an atheist when the item was first asked in the late 1950s, compared with 45% today. Just 26% said they would support a homosexual presidential candidate in 1978, compared with the current 55%.

(HT: Outside the Beltway)

Pro-Life Members Work to Make “Amends” on GINA

by Tony Perkins

February 16, 2007

Despite support by pro-life Republicans and Reps. Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Jason Altmire (D-PA) an amendment to expand the definition of “family member” to include the unborn and adoptive children in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act failed in the House Education and Labor Committee. Chairman George Miller (D-CA) did offer a provision that would include “fetuses” in the bill. However, this does not address children in the process of being adopted and unborn children younger than nine weeks’ gestation. Also, it does not remedy the dilemma for IVF embryos. FRC will continue to urge House members to close this devastating loophole.

Congress Blocks Funding of Baby AIDS Program

by Family Research Council

February 14, 2007

Every year thousands of babies, predominately from poor African-American families, are born at risk of developing HIV. Many of these children develop HIV related infections that could have easily been prevented by prenatal testing and treatment. States that have implemented HIV testing for infants have seen their infections rates drop dramatically. Such success even inspired Congress to pass the Ryan White Early Diagnosis Grant Program. The program authorized $30 million in funding to states with infant HIV testing in order to ensure that these vulnerable children are protected.

The program was created just two months ago yet someone has already included language in the appropriations bill to prohibit funding for the Baby Aids program. Section 20613(b) of H.J.Res. 20 states:

(b) None of the funds appropriated by this division may be used to: (1) implement section 2625 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300ff-33; relating to the Ryan White early diagnosis grant program)…

This provision does not save any money but simply prohibits funds to help identify these toddlers. In fact, the funding was already included in President Bushs FY08 budget request. So why would anyone insert this language into the bill?

Earlier this week, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) attempted to add an amendment to restore the funding. Unfortunately, Democratic Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) never allowed the amendment to be included before the bill reached the Senate floor for a vote.

One would think that protecting sick babies is an issue that both Democrats and Republicans would fully endorse. So who inserted this language? And why wasnt Sen. Coburn’s amendment added? Every American who cares about children should be asking that question and demanding that Congress give us an answer.

Other blogs discussing this issue:

A Liberal Sleight of Hand on Life

by Tony Perkins

February 14, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

When Bill Clinton was president, the first lady was always the last person to protect life. Now, after joining the race for the White House, Hillary Clinton wants to convince America shes changed. This month, Hillary sponsored a bill that she promises will decrease pregnancies without increasing abortion. But the reality is her bill doesnt reduce abortionit funds them through a little loophole called family planning. That means groups like Planned Parenthood, the countrys biggest abortion provider, would more than double their federal funding. Under Clintons plan, the government would boost Planned Parenthoods income from $284 million a year to $647 million. In a nutshell, liberals are saying they want to reduce abortion through funneling more money to Planned Parenthood. Of course that claim just doesnt hold water, since Planned Parenthood is in the abortion business.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link.

When Being ‘Pro-choice’ is a Good Thing

by Tony Perkins

February 13, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Have you noticed that when it comes to parental control in education that many of the folks on the political left leave their pro-choice mantra behind? Case in point is President Bushs request for Congress to reauthorize his No Child Left Behind educational program. Ill be frank; I opposed the plan from the very beginning because its a big government program. But, the new version has at least one redeeming component: vouchers for students who are stuck in failing public schools which will allow them to attend a private school. In some states the very idea has raised the scores and the hopes of many low-income kids. But that doesnt seem to matter if some are more interested in preserving an ailing system than educating children. According to them, we should forget vouchers and keep pouring money into failing schools. The underlying issue is that they dont want to give parents a choice in education because they are fearful of a loss of control that might leave them behind.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link.

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