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House Overwhelmingly Approves Renewal and Tripling of Successful U.S. Global AIDS Prevention Effort
Date:4/2/2008

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thanks to a bipartisan compromise brokered by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), the House today voted overwhelmingly to expand the landmark U.S. effort to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide that, during the past five years, has saved millions of lives.

Despite efforts by some Republican members of Congress to limit the funding it provides, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5501) was approved 306 to 116. It renews the mandate of an initiative proposed by the President in January 2003 to combat these three lethal diseases; the legislation authorizing this initiative expires in September. The Foreign Affairs Committee passed a five-year reauthorization with a bipartisan voice vote on February 27.

Berman argued for the reauthorization on the House floor today, noting, "As a direct result of the extraordinarily successful law we passed five years ago, the United States has provided life-saving drugs to nearly 1.5 million men, women and children; supported care for nearly 7 million people, including 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children; and prevented an estimated 150,000 infant infections around the world."

He also pointed out the program's sometimes-overlooked foreign policy significance. "The 2003 legislation firmly established the United States as the leading provider in the world of HIV/AIDS assistance for prevention, treatment and care," Berman said. "It has reminded the global community that Americans are a compassionate and generous people, and so has helped to repair our nation's badly-damaged image overseas. In many ways, that legislation has had great healing power."

The 2003 law provided the U.S. global health effort $15 billion over five years; the legislation passed by the House today authorizes $50 billion for the next five years. The Preside
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SOURCE House Committee on Foreign Affairs
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