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Highlights of the President's Budget as Presented to Congress
3/10/2004

2005 FEDERAL BUDGET AREAS OF INTEREST TO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

INTERNATIONAL

Global AIDS Pandemic:
In its 2005 Budget the White House includes $2.8 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, $200 million of which is for the Global AIDS Fund, serving 121 countries, including all of Africa. Congress increased its funding in 2004 to $550 million. The remainder is for the President’s Initiative serving at most 15 countries (12 in Africa and one in the Caribbean). We will again be part of efforts to work with Congress to raise additional funds for HIV/AIDS programs.
Millennium Challenge Accounts:
The budget includes $2.5 billion for this new development program offering financial incentives to countries that adopt sound political, economic and social policies. Congress appropriated $1 billion to the MCAs in 2004, more than the Administration requested. Uganda is among the nations mentioned as likely beneficiaries.

DOMESTIC

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:
The administration’s 2005 budget assumed approval to begin oil and gas production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), estimating royalty payments of $2.4 billion in 2006. However, both the House and Senate Budget Committees passed budgets that do NOT include revenues derived from drilling in the Arctic Refuge. While ANWR is far from safe, this exclusion is a significant victory.
Child Care for Low Income Families:
The president’s 2005 budget proposes a decrease in funding for child care programs for low-income working families. Meanwhile, efforts continue to raise the funding level for child care for low income families through the reauthorization of TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is expected to offer an amendment to increase Child Care by $6 billion dollars over the next 5 years.
Head Start:
Although Head Start reaches only three out of five eligible preschoolers and Early Head Start serves just three percent of eligible infants and toddlers, the president’s 2005 budget does not include enough funding to keep up with inflation. It also fails to include new funding for quality improvements. While legislation before Congress would raise teacher credential requirements, the budget includes no funds for scholarships to enable teachers to receive higher degrees or for the higher salaries that would be required to attract and retain teachers with these credentials.


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