Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Senate Increases AIDS Funding and Advocates Respond
Washington Post: Senate Agress to $50 Billion AIDS Plan, by Paul Kane:
On an 80 to 16 vote, the Senate dramatically increased the U.S. contribution to a global fund to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. President Bush, who requested $30 billion over the next five years, has agreed to the larger amount for a program he started in 2003.
"We've made tremendous strides, but our work is not nearly finished. Two million people died last year of HIV-AIDS. Over two and a half million people died of malaria and TB," said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.). He praised Bush's "bold" support for AIDS funding, launched in the 2003 State of the Union address, calling it his greatest achievement as president.
Once a politically contentious issue, fighting AIDS has become popular at both ends of the ideological spectrum. During the debate, Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, praised former senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), a conservative icon who died July 4, for his decision in 2000 to support global AIDS funding.
Center for Health and Gender Equity: It's Broke, But They Won't Fix It: The Senate Authorizes a Global AIDS Relief Package that Comes Up Short, by Serra Sippel:
On Wednesday, the Senate voted 80 to 16 to reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a five-year, $48 billion global initiative to combat HIV/AIDS,tuberculosis and malaria.
The Senate missed a golden opportunity to epitomize the generosity of the American people by making U.S. global HIV/AIDS relief more effective, compassionate and fiscally responsible. As a result, millions of people are at greater risk of HIV infection.