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National News

Senate to Debate White House-Backed AIDS Bill

May 14, 2003

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

On Tuesday, Senate Republican leaders said they will bring a White House-backed global HIV/AIDS relief bill to the Senate floor later this week. By announcing he will introduce a five-year authorization bill identical to the one that passed the U.S. House with broad bipartisan support, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the majority leader, turned aside a bipartisan Senate bill that would have created expanded AIDS relief programs for two years.

The House bill authorizes $15 billion in spending over five years for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in 14 African and Caribbean countries hard-hit by the epidemic, and it potentially triples U.S. overseas spending on AIDS relief. The bill also clears the way for the president to send up to $1 billion in U.S. contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; President Bush, however, has said that no more than $200 million should go to the fund each year.

Democrats are vowing to offer an alternative package giving more concrete financing to the Global Fund. Their plan would spend $500 million on the fund in fiscal 2004, with another $500 million authorized to match contributions from other nations. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), the minority leader, said Democrats will also try to remove conservative-backed language in the house bill that commits one-third of all U.S. AIDS prevention money to abstinence education. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said he will offer at least one amendment forcing the U.S. government to buy low-cost generic AIDS drugs.

But Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said that acceptance of the Democratic language altering the bill's support for abstinence education or the Global Fund could cause Republicans to offer amendments of their own, possibly setting up a Senate floor fight.

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The bill does not guarantee spending levels, and several lawmakers have warned that tight federal budgets could prevent Congress from spending anywhere near the $3 billion the measure authorizes for global AIDS programs next year. Bush recently called for no more than $2 billion in total spending next year.

Back to other CDC news for May 14, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Reuters Health
05.13.03; Todd Zwillich

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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More News and Reports on U.S. Global HIV/AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

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