House Adopts Ryan FY 2013 Budget

By Rob Banaszak on March 30, 2012 in Policy/Advocacy

by Ronald Johnson, Vice President of Policy & Advocacy
AIDS United

On Thursday, the full House of Representatives voted 228-191 to adopt the harsh Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 13) budget resolution (H Con. Res. 112) presented by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chair of the House Budget Committee. No Democrats voted for the Ryan-authored budget and 10 Republicans voted against the resolution. Prior to passing the Ryan budget, the House voted down six alternative budget proposals, including plans introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, House Democrats, the Republican Study Committee. Also among the six alternatives was a bipartisan proposal that the co-sponsors said was modeled on the recommendations of the 2010 Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission (National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform).

AIDS United was part of the nearly unanimous condemnation from, and strong opposition by,  the HIV/AIDS community, other disease-related and health care groups, and advocates for low-income individuals and families to Ryan’s FY 13 budget blueprint. The draconian cuts in spending for health care, programs that provide a safety net for low-income and other vulnerable populations, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and the virtual dismantling of Medicaid and Medicare called for in the FY 13 Ryan budget, coupled with larger tax cuts for corporations and the most wealthy individuals, were considered, rightly, to be unconscionable.

The Senate is not expected to adopt the Ryan budget. Indeed, the full Senate likely will not vote on a budget resolution for FY 13. The Senate leadership considers a budget resolution unnecessary in light of the Budget Control Act (BCA), to which both Democrats and Republicans agreed last summer. The Senate is proceeding with FY 2013 appropriations under the discretionary spending cap for FY 13 called for in the BCA, which is $1.047 trillion. In contrast, the House-passed resolution puts FY 13 spending at $1.028 trillion, $19 billion below what the Senate will be using. The different spending levels for FY 13 will make reaching a House-Senate agreement on appropriation bills difficult and likely impossible before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1 and probably before the November elections. Conventional wisdom in the Washington arena is that final spending levels for FY 13 will be set in a lame duck session after the elections.

Bottom-line, this means that the HIV/AIDS community will go through another year of uncertainty about funding levels for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, including ADAP; domestic HIV prevention; the HOPWA program; and support for HIV research. This is not a way to accomplish the ambitious goals the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy. This is not a way to end an epidemic.

It’s also not a pretty picture for the first International AIDS Conference held in the United States in over 20 years.

AIDS United will continue to be engaged with its partner national organizations in demanding the highest funding possible for HIV/AIDS programs. As always we will keep you informed and provide opportunities for your direct engagement in advocacy.

To read the letter AIDS United sent to all Members of the House, click here
http://www.aidsunited.org/uploads/AIDS_United_Budget_Letter_to_House_Members_-_March_29.pdf

To read more about the alternative budgets offered by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Republican Study Group, follow the below links:

http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/Executive%20Summary%20FINAL.pdf

http://cdn.thecongressionalblackcaucus.com/wp-content/uploads/CBC-FY13-Budget-Factsheet.pdf

http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/UploadedFiles/RSC_FY_2013_Budget_Cut_Cap_and_Balance_Summary–FINAL.pdf

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