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
(Extensions of Remarks - April 04, 2008)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[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.

                          ____________________