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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congressman Waters Fights to Protect Health Services for Women, Minorities, and Young People in House Spending Package

September 11, 2017
Press Release

 

Congressman Waters Fights to Protect Health Services for Women, Minorities, and Young People in House Spending Package

Offers Amendments to Restore Funds for HIV/AIDS, Family Planning, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention, which Republicans Refused to Make in Order

WASHINGTON Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, announced her opposition to H.R. 3354 – the House Republicans’ spending package of 8 appropriations bills that is being considered on the House floor this week – and condemned Republican leaders for refusing to allow the House to consider her three amendments to restore funding for HIV/AIDS, family planning, and teen pregnancy prevention in fiscal year 2018. 

“My amendments to the House Republicans’ spending bill would have restored critical funding for HIV/AIDS, family planning, and teen pregnancy prevention services in communities across the United States,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “I am deeply disappointed that Republican leaders refused to consider my amendments, and instead put partisan politics over the needs of women, minorities, and young people.”

Congresswoman Waters’ amendments would have restored funding for three popular health programs, which target disadvantaged communities and which the House Republicans eliminated from their spending bill.  During a hearing on Wednesday, September 6th, Congresswoman Waters urged the Rules Committee to allow her to offer the amendments on the House floor, but the Republican-dominated Rules Committee refused to make them in order. 

“My first amendment would have restored funding for a key component of the Minority AIDS Initiative, known as the Secretary’s Fund,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “The Minority AIDS Initiative directs HIV/AIDS prevention, screening, and treatment funds to minority communities, which continue to be severely and disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS.  I established this important initiative in 1998, working with the Clinton Administration and my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus.”

Minorities represent the majority of new HIV infections, the majority of people living with HIV/AIDS, and the majority of deaths among people with HIV/AIDS.  African Americans account for 44% of new HIV infections, and Latinos account for 24%.  Asian Americans account for an additional 2% of new infections.  The rate of new infections among African Americans is about 8 times that of whites, and the rate among Latinos is about 3 times that of whites.  The Congresswoman’s amendment would have provided $53.9 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative Secretary’s Fund.

“My second amendment would have restored funding for the Title X Family Planning Program,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “This critical funding allows Title X health centers to continue providing preventive health and family planning services to millions of low-income American women and families.”

The Title X Family Planning Program enables health centers to provide basic primary health care, family planning services, and preventive health services, such as cancer screenings and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, for more than 4 million low-income women and men each year.  Title X supports nearly 4,000 health providers, from independent clinics to public health departments.   The Congresswoman’s amendment would have provided $286 million for Title X.

“Finally, I offered an amendment to restore funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, which provides vital information about pregnancy prevention, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases to more than one million young people” said Congresswoman Waters.

The Congresswoman’s amendment would have provided $108 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to insist upon robust funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative, the Title X Family Planning Program, and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and reject the House Republicans’ misguided attempt to eliminate these essential programs,” said Congresswoman Waters.  

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