House Passes Supplemental Appropriations Bill Without UNFPA Amendments
Early Friday morning, the House of Representatives, passed HR 4775, a $29 billion supplemental appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2002. Voted 280 to 138, the bill removed both the Lowey-Kolbe and Tiahrt provisions on the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Senate is now set to consider its version of the bill – which includes language introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) requiring the President to release $34 million to the UNFPA by July 10 – following the Memorial Day recess.
President Bush has refused to release the UNFPA funds because of UNFPA’s alleged role – unsubstantiated to date – in forced abortions in China. UNFPA has vehemently denied the allegations. An investigative report by the US State Department is expected in June. The Leahy provision in the Senate bill specifies, "The Committee intends these funds to be obligated and disbursed expeditiously, absent proof that the UNFPA knowingly supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."