The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Pelosi AIDS San Francisco

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


A battle has been brewing over funding in the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act (CARE) section of the fiscal 2008 Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.  In 2006, CARE was renewed with a revised funding formula to improve the distribution of grants so that they are allotted more equitably to AIDS cases across the country.  This year in the House, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) inserted a provision, called a “hold-harmless,” which would take $9.3 million out of the CARES 2008 budget for urban area grants and redirect the money to give extra money to a few cities in 2007, including $6.2 million for San Francisco, which is in her congressional district.   Her explanation was that San Francisco otherwise stands to lose almost a third of its financial support under the new formula.

An October 5, 2007 GAO report found that funding will increase in most cities between 2007 and 2008 with or without the hold harmless provision, but all cities would be awarded less funding in 2008 than they would have had without the hold-harmless.  The report further confirmed that San Francisco continues to be the only urban area whose formula funding is based on both living and deceased AIDS cases dating back to 1995.

In the Senate, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) offered an amendment to block Rep. Pelosi’s action because it would adversely affect the funding of other, needier cities as determined by the new funding formula.  The amendment passed 65-28, but Rep. Pelosi has vowed to fight to keep the hold-harmless, and thus the extra money for her district, in the conference report, where the House and Senate bills will be reconciled.

  -- Alexa Moutevelis

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