Earlier this month, the Trump Administration sent its budget for fiscal year 2017 to Congress. Rather than provide a detailed document for funding the federal government, the President advanced an outline of spending priorities, also known as a skinny budget. What we learned was that the Department of Defense was slated for an increase in $54 billion, with this scale up done at the expense domestic programs. While lip service was paid to the importance of the Ryan White Program, the document was relatively silent on programmatic cuts.
This week, in advance of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Price testifying about his agency’s budget, further details were shared. What we now know, is the Administration wants to help pay for
the 17 percent increase in defense spending by cutting $1.2 billion from the National Institutes of Health, $50 million from CDC HIV research and prevention programs, and nearly $300 million from the global HIV and AIDS treatment through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Without question, these cuts are startling and troubling. However, it’s important to remember this budget is for the current fiscal year that is already half over. It has no chance of passing, as Republicans
and Democrats in both the House and Senate have condemned slashing key health programs. It does however foreshadow the Administration’s thinking for its FY18 budget that will be released in May.
HRC is working closely with our coalition partners to press Congress on the need to ensure the funding necessary to continue the strong progress made in the fight to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
For more information about HRC’s work to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic, click here.