The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a “Joint Summary of Performance and Financial Information for FY 2012” summarizing the performance and accomplishments of the two agencies in fulfilling their diplomatic and development objectives, including efforts to address global health issues.
UPDATE: The President signed the bill into law (Public Law #112-74) on December 23, 2011 after the Conference Agreement passed the House (296-121) on December 16, 2011 and the Senate (67-32) on December 17, 2011. Additionally, the Senate voted against (43-56) a resolution (H.Con.Res. 94) that would have applied a 1.83% across-the-board rescission to all FY 2012 appropriations except the Department of Defense (DoD), Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs.
Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY, 5th; Chairman House Committee on Appropriations) released a statement announcing that a joint House-Senate Conference Committee had reached agreement on final FY 2012 Appropriations legislation (H.R. 2055), which includes funding for global health programs through the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Defense (DoD). While total funding for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) is not yet available, the appropriations detailed in this agreement totaled $8.3 billion.
Directs that no FY 2012 global health funds may be used for needle exchange programs;
Includes additional Congressional oversight before the Administration makes a multi-year funding pledge;
Requires the Administration to report back to Congress with an analysis of the potential costs/savings of transitioning the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) into USAID; and
Requires the Administration to report back to Congress with an analysis of transitioning the leadership of the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to USAID as outlined in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).
Global health appropriations as provided in the Conference Report (House Report 112-331) and Joint Statement of Managers are summarized as follows:
From the report: “On August 9, 2009, the White House charged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in coordination with the Office of the Director for National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Department of State (DoS) to study characteristics and impact of the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) (refer to as 2009 H1N1) outbreak in the Southern Hemisphere” in order “to assist the U.S. Government in its preparedness efforts.”
In an effort “to stop the global spread of the pandemic 2009-H1N1 influenza virus,” President Obama announced that the United States “is prepared to make 10 percent of its H1N1 vaccine supply available to other countries” that would “not otherwise have direct access to the vaccine.” The U.S. will provide the vaccines through the World Health Organization (WHO) as they become available.
In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, President Obama referred to the recent H1N1 flu outbreak and requested that an additional $2 billion be included in the FY 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill in order “to enhance our Nation’s capability to respond to the potential spread of this outbreak.”
The President also requested that Congress grant him the authority to access existing funds for potential flu preparedness and response efforts including:
- Funds “totaling up to one percent of amounts appropriated in division A of Public Law 111-5” (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act);
- “One percent of discretionary funds available to the Department of Health and Human Services in fiscal year 2009;” and
- “Funds appropriated under the heading ‘Biodefense Countermeasures’ in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2004 (Pub. L. No. 108-90).”
This report is an update to the May 26th report, “The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) ‘Swine Flu’ Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases,” which provides an overview of the U.S. role in the global response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak highlighting efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and summarizing potential issues for future consideration.
At a hearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, GAO staff testified on U.S. planning and preparedness efforts to address a potential influenza pandemic.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Department of Homeland Secretary (DHS) Janet Napolitano released a joint statement on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to declare the H1n1 virus outbreak a pandemic. The statement provided a broad overview of the Administration’s previous and ongoing efforts to address the outbreak.