Redeeming a $2 Billion Pledge for Global AIDS
February 24, 2003
As Congress contemplates legislation to fulfill President George W. Bush's goal of tripling spending for global AIDS, advocates for people with the disease complained last week that the White House was not living up to its promise. In his proposed 2004 budget, Bush pledged $2 billion for global AIDS, including $450 million in new money for the initiative he announced last month in his State of the Union address. But advocates, who met Friday in Washington, say Bush is inflating his total by including $260 million for AIDS research and money for TB and malaria. Depending on who is counting, they say the total is $1.4 billion or $1.6 billion, not $2 billion.Adapted from:
"President Bush has hired Arthur Andersen to account for this $2 billion," said Paul Davis, spokesperson for the Health GAP Coalition, a nonprofit group dedicated to increasing access to medicines for patients overseas. Davis said a consortium of 20 advocacy organizations, including his own, would press Congress to appropriate $3.5 billion in global AIDS money for 2004, with $1.75 billion directed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on legislation to enact Bush's plan. In the last Congress, Sens. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) proposed legislation authorizing $2.2 billion for the Global Fund. But the White House wants the State Department, rather than the Global Fund, to control the money. So Frist, now the Senate Republican leader, drafted a new measure -- but it failed to win the support of members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- including Kerry, his former co-sponsor. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who heads the committee, is working on an alternative that could win bipartisan support.
New York Times
02.23.03; Sheryl Gay Stolberg
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.