07.11.08

ENZI CHEERS SENATE ACTION TOWARD RENEWAL OF GLOBAL AIDS RELIEF PROGRAM SAYS BILL WILL SAVE LIVES BY IMPROVING FOCUS ON TREATING INDIVIDUALS WITH HIV/AIDS

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, Ranking Member of theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP Committee), today saidhe is was pleased that the Senate is moving toward passage of legislation to renew thePresident’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), adding that the bill would savelives in poor countries by improving the program’s focus on treating individuals withHIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. “Our bill will secure America’s place as the world’s leader in the global fightagainst HIV/AIDS. This is proof that the United States continues to put its money whereits mouth is to combat these terrible diseases,” Enzi said. “This legislation will build upon the remarkable success of PEPFAR. Our billestablishes new, more challenging treatment goals to ensure that we treat the greatestnumber of people in the most cost effective manner possible. Providing medical care forindividuals with HIV/AIDS must remain the number one priority of our globalHIV/AIDS program.” The Senate approved a cloture motion today, by a 65-3 vote, to move toward finalpassage of the bill, the “Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global LeadershipAgainst HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008,” S. 2731.The Senate is expected to approve the bill early next week. “When I traveled to Africa in March, I saw firsthand the value of the President'sglobal AIDS policy,” Enzi said. “We have accomplished things that many thought wereimpossible when I visited five years ago. It is truly one of the most successful foreign aidprograms in the history of the United States.“Now is the time to help PEPFAR make the transition from an emergency aidplan to a sustainable, long range effort that will continue to be effective until thesediseases are relegated to the history books.” Enzi said that S. 2731 will: • Ensure that funding follows the patients, and does not get lost in theadministrative structure of the programs these funds support;• Continue the focus on treatment by requiring that more than half of the funds beused for that purpose;• Provide for a complete accounting of all funds provided to the Global Fund;• Call for a balanced, comprehensive approach to prevention by ensuring thatabstinence and be faithful programs receive funds equal to that of otherprevention programs;• Help increase the capacity of the health care systems in countries receivingsupport;• Ensure that all drugs used for the program are safe and effective;• Begin to develop a framework for the long-range stability of global AIDSprograms; and,• Encourage countries receiving assistance to develop their own independent andsustainable programs to address the health care needs of their people.“We have a good bill because Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) and Senator Dick Lugar(R-IN) spent long days and nights working on it to ensure that it reflects the priorities ofmembers on both sides of the aisle,” Enzi said. “Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), SenatorTom Coburn (R-OK), and I worked closely with Senators Biden and Lugar to addressimportant principles and goals in this legislation. I commend each member for theirdedication and hard work on this critical, life-saving legislation.” ####

Press Contact

Craig Orfield (202) 224-6770

Related Files