Congresswoman Waters Supports Omnibus Appropriations Bill’s Increased Funding for Minority AIDS Initiative
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, announced her support of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill’s inclusion of robust funding the Minority AIDS Initiative. This bill funds this initiative for Fiscal Year 2016.
Despite the fact that Congresswoman Waters did not agree with all of the allocations in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, she is appreciative of the increased funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative that she led the efforts to establish.
“I have fought for funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative throughout the year. I am pleased that my colleagues in Congress have voted to ensure that the Minority AIDS Initiative is a top priority,” said Congresswoman Waters.
The Omnibus Appropriations Bill allocates $53.9 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative Secretary’s Fund, one of the four Minority AIDS Initiative accounts. This is an increase of $1.9 million above the 2015 enacted level.
Congresswoman Waters sent a letter to appropriators in March requesting $610 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative, and it was signed by 66 Members of Congress. The Congresswoman also sent a second letter to appropriators on December 9th requesting robust funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative, and it was signed by 48 Members of Congress.
The Minority AIDS Initiative is needed to help minority communities combat disproportionate HIV/AIDS infection rates. African Americans account for 44% of new HIV infections, Latinos account for 21%, and Asian Americans account for about 2% of new HIV infections.
Congresswoman Waters said, “Racial and ethnic minorities continue to be severely and disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Minorities represent the majority of new HIV infections, people living with HIV/AIDS, and deaths from AIDS. The Minority AIDS Initiative is a critical tool in the effort to combat these unacceptable disparities, and this funding will help continue the progress that has already been made.”
Other Minority AIDS Initiative accounts were not specified in the bill but are expected to receive as much as or slightly more than last year, for a total of more than $425.2 million across all four accounts of the Minority AIDS Initiative in fiscal year 2016.