April 4, 2008 - Issue: Vol. 154, No. 53 — Daily Edition110th Congress (2007 - 2008) - 2nd Session
CONGRESSWOMAN NITA M. LOWEY STATEMENT ON H.R. 5501 TOM LANTOS AND HENRY J. HYDE UNITED STATES GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AGAINST HIV/AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS, AND MALARIA REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2008; Congressional Record Vol. 154, No. 53
(Extensions of Remarks - April 04, 2008)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E513-E514] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] CONGRESSWOMAN NITA M. LOWEY STATEMENT ON H.R. 5501 TOM LANTOS AND HENRY J. HYDE UNITED STATES GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AGAINST HIV/AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS, AND MALARIA REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2008 ______ speech of HON. NITA M. LOWEY of new york in the house of representatives Wednesday, April 2, 2008 Mrs. LOWEY. Madam Chairman, I rise today to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 5501, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act. Over the past five years two major initiatives have been created to combat HIV/AIDS and TB: the Global Fund and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPPAR). These initiatives have provided over $18 billion and exceeded the President's target of $15 billion by more than $3 billion. As we seek to reauthorize this program today, I commend the target of $50 billion over the next five years for these critical programs. This funding will allow us to prevent 12 million new HIV infections, provide treatment for 3 million people living with HIV/ AIDS, treat 450,000 children and provide care for 12 million individuals, including 5 million orphans and vulnerable children. This funding will reduce tuberculosis deaths and disease burden by half, the primary cause of death for those living with HIV/AIDS. Five years ago, only 50,000 people living with HIV/AIDS were receiving antiretroviral treatment. Today with American leadership, almost 2 million people are receiving treatment. Clearly, we are making a difference. With this next phase, we need to devote more resources to strengthen the capacity of nations to meet their own health challenges. If any of these interventions are to be sustainable in the long term, it requires that developing countries be able to shoulder more of [[Page E514]] the responsibility for the health of their populations. I am pleased that this bill invests more in health infrastructure and the training of healthcare professionals. In addition, I am pleased that the bill recognizes the important role played by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in empowering countries to address their own health problems. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has ravaged the world, especially the African continent, and shows no signs of slowing down. While U.S.-funded HIV/ AIDS prevention programs reached 57 million people last year alone, new infections are on the rise. It is essential that we renew our focus on prevention efforts, including key work on preventing mother-to-child transmission. Additionally, we must provide the flexibility to respond to the needs of the communities served including through the removal of the abstinence earmark in this bill, which I applaud. While I believe this bill represents the strong bipartisan commitment of Congress to combating these epidemics, I am disappointed that the bill took a step backwards in the struggle for poor women to receive access to critical family planning services. A provision in the bill could be interpreted to limit, for the first time and contrary to current practice, the types of family planning programs that would be eligible for PEPFAR funding. I understand this was not the intent of the Committee and hope that this issue can be addressed during conference. I commend Congressman Berman and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen for crafting a bipartisan bill that will save millions of lives. It truly honors the legacy of our great colleagues, Congressman Lantos and Congressman Hyde. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this critical legislation. ____________________