The federal Ryan White CARE Act is set to expire September 30 unless reauthorized by Congress, but U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D–Iowa) said September 16 that the program—which provides care, treatment, education and support services for people living with HIV—will be reauthorized before the deadline, The Iowa Independent reports.

His assurance aimed to quell speculation that the heated partisan debate that surfaced in Washington, DC, during President Barack Obama's health reform proposal would make it difficult to reauthorize the HIV/AIDS bill.

“Staff [members] have been working on the Ryan White bill for some time now, and we have a markup scheduled for next week,” Harkin said. “I'm hopeful it will be a smooth markup. We have reached out to Republican members of the committee — and I'm doing so even now — to get a bill that will be broadly supported.”

According to the article, more than $2 billion in federal funding has been distributed through the program in the past three years.