imageOn what was the original deadline to renew the Ryan White Care Act for HIV/AIDS service funds or lose them, the U.S. Senate acted on a measure Wednesday that would keep the funds flowing for another four years.

The deadline for Ryan White funds to expire was Sept. 30. Both the House and Senate have since passed appropriations through Continuing Resolutions that extend the funds through Oct. 30 while Congress works to renew the program on a longer-term basis.

On Wednesday, a Senate bill to renew the Ryan White Act for four years was voted unanimously out of committee.

A House bill already drafted would extend Ryan White for three years. Supporters of the bill are urging calls to members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to take action and send that bill to the House floor.

Members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation on the committee include Rep. Nathan Deal, Rep. John Barrow and Rep. Phil Gingrey. Click on their names to e-mail them, or phone Deal at (202) 225-5211, Barrow at (202) 225-2823, and Gingrey at (202) 225-2931.

“There is a great expectation that the two bills will move forward, and a final combined bill will be passed and be signed into law by the President before October 30, 2009,” Jeff Graham (photo), executive director of Georgia Equality and a longtime HIV/AIDS advocate, told supporters in an e-mail update Wednesday.

Project Q has reported that some $19 million of annual funds in Atlanta alone are in the crosshairs if a final bill from the full Congress doesn’t make it into law.