October 2, 2009

October 2, 2009
Next Steps in Getting Ryan White Funding Extended

Thanks for stopping by to check out another day in my life. Today is Friday and I hope you have had a safe and great week so far.

It has been a long one in the world of HIV and AIDS. With no solid extension on Ryan White funding and more states starting ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) Waiting Lists, my stress level is through the roof. I just can not believe we have so few activists nationwide that it has gotten this bad so easily. But that is another blog entry.

The bill still requires approval by the full Senate, and the House must still pass a bill. It is our expectation that this process will move quickly with the possibility of the legislation being wrapped up this week ...or next week before going to the President for signature. It is possible that the House and Senate will resolve the differences in their bills prior to full floor consideration, thus preventing the need to conference the bills after floor passage and speeding the process up. Given the strong bipartisan support in both chambers, we expect that the bills will pass without incident in both chambers.

Continuing Resolution

In addition, the full Senate passed a 30-day Continuing Resolution (CR) that includes a provision to extend the program through October. The CR was sent to the President last night for signature. The CR will ensure the stable operations of the program until the stand-alone legislation is passed by Congress and signed by the President.

Progress Represents Power of Grassroots Voices

This week’s progress reflects the hard work that so many of you did in the past weeks to raise the priority level for this issue among your senators and representatives. At a time when Congress is consumed with so much other business, including health care reform, it is easy for issues as important as the Ryan White Program to fall off the radar screen. Our collective efforts ensured that did not happen. Pressure from the field led to a great deal of activity over the past week and helped key parties arrive at consensus on how best to move forward.

Please keep up the calls to your elected officials. If you do not know your elected officials, go to: http://www.votesmart.org.

American men, women and children with HIV and AIDS are counting on your support.

I hope you have a safe and great weekend. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab