Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: Passage of AIDS Bill a Vital Step Forward--Now Administration Must Fund It

May 21, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today after passage by the House of Representatives of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003:
"The passage of the global AIDS bill by the House today is a vital step forward in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It strengthens our commitment to a future where AIDS is no longer a threat.

"This legislation authorizes $15 billion for our multilateral and bilateral efforts and will improve coordination among relevant U.S. agencies. It also establishes additional accountability mechanisms and fosters greater international cooperation through increased funding for the multilateral Global Fund to Combat HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

"The promises made in the bill, however, must be matched by real resources. Planning and coordination alone will not solve this monumental crisis; prevention and treatment require money. We must now appropriate the funds necessary to enact this plan and demonstrate the depth of our commitment to the world.

"While the bill authorizes $3 billion in fiscal year 2004, the Bush Administration's budget provides only $1.6 billion next year, with just $200 million going to the Global Fund. We can and must do better.

"I also have deep reservations about the provision that gives abstinence programs a third of USAID's prevention funding. This crisis is too severe and our response is too critical to let our efforts be undermined by catering to ideological pressure.

"The fight against AIDS is far from over. Experts say that a robust global response could prevent nearly two-thirds of the 45 million new infections that are projected by 2020, saving tens of millions of lives. U.S. leadership is essential."


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