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News Briefs II

House Balks at Clinton's Proposed Contribution to IMF

Los Angeles Times

In another rebuke to President Clinton's foreign policy, the House refused Thursday to approve the administration's request for a new $18 billion contribution to help the International Monetary Fund cope with the global economic crisis.

The action, taken without a vote on a parliamentary point-of-order, left unchanged the House Appropriations Committee's decision to provide only a truncated $3.4 billion U.S. payment to the IMF.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., primary sponsor of the amendment that would have restored the full payment, said the Appropriations Committee's version failed to meet "the global challenge."

But the House Republican leadership insisted on keeping the issue alive as a possible end-of-session bargaining chip. Some GOP lawmakers suggested that they might go along with the full $18 billion if it were approved by the conference committee.

However, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the administration remained hopeful that a Senate-House conference committee will relent and approve the request. The Senate earlier voted to appropriate the full $18 billion.

More Federal Funds Set to Deal With AIDS Among Minorities

The Baltimore Sun

Responding to an outcry from black leaders that AIDS is the number one killer of young African-American adults, federal health officials Thursday announced they will set aside an extra $4.9 million to address AIDS among minorities nationwide.

A group of more than 2,000 state lawmakers attending the 28th annual Congressional Black Caucus conference in Washington applauded the announcement but called for guarantees that the funds would not be cut next year and renewed the organization's push for the issue to be declared a state of emergency.

Earlier this week, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators devoted its entire three-day conference in Washington to AIDS among blacks.

The increased attention from black leaders comes after years of grass-roots work against the disease but the perception that, on a national level, black leaders have been less visible.

The new federal funding, to be distributed through the Centers for Disease Control and the Health Resources and Services Administration, will help fund community-based organizations and will focus on prevention services. It comes in addition to a $15 million allocation set aside earlier this year as part of more than $250 million HHS spends on HIV services each year.