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Statement of Administration Policy: S. 2731 - Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008

July 11, 2008


STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(Senate)

(Sen. Biden (D) DE and 13 cosponsors)

The Administration is deeply committed to fighting the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the American people have shown our Nation's commitment to saving and improving lives. PEPFAR is supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for approximately 1.73 million people worldwide and is on track to fulfill its original goals of supporting treatment of 2 million people, preventing 7 million new infections, and caring for 10 million people, including orphans and vulnerable children, in its focus countries.

The Emergency Plan is creating strong partnerships and allies in countries where five years ago AIDS threatened to destroy entire generations. Congress and the American people should be proud of this compassionate program, which is bringing hope and healing to millions of people around the world. The Administration strongly supports S. 2731, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, and the Manager's substitute amendment for this bill, both of which would reauthorize PEPFAR and ensure the continued success of this program. The Administration appreciates the efforts of many Senators who reached agreements to strengthen the bill.

S. 2731 would reauthorize the Emergency Plan in a manner consistent with the program's successful founding principles and would maintain a continued focus on quantifiable HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care goals. The Administration believes it is particularly important that S. 2731 retains a meaningful funding requirement for the evidence-based, balanced "Abstinence, Be Faithful, and correct and consistent use of Condoms" approach to prevention of sexual transmission of HIV. The AB programs—abstinence, delay of sexual debut, monogamy, fidelity, partner reduction—must continue to be a central part of the U.S. Government's comprehensive approach to preventing HIV/AIDS. The Administration also is pleased that the bill maintains the requirement that organizations receiving PEPFAR assistance not use these funds to advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution or sex trafficking, and that they have a policy opposing prostitution and sex trafficking. These requirements are critical to the effectiveness of the U.S. Government's strategy to combat global HIV/AIDS.

Over the past five years we have learned that faith-based and community organizations are highly effective in combating the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The strengthened conscience clause under S. 2731 will ensure their continued participation in this fight. The United States is the largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and the Administration applauds the new accountability and transparency benchmarks for the Global Fund included in S. 2731, including the provision to withhold funds if these important benchmarks are not met. The Administration also appreciates that the bill maintains the requirement that U.S. Government funds not exceed 33 percent of cumulative contributions to the Global Fund and the circumstances under which this funding limit may be waived. This requirement has been critical in ensuring that the Global Fund leverages additional funding from the international community for every $1 contributed by the United States.

The Administration notes that the bill would authorize $50 billion for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria over five years—an amount significantly above the Administration's $30 billion proposal. We are concerned about this increase, and we look forward to working with the appropriators to further analyze program needs so that we can maximize PEPFAR's effectiveness through greater efficiencies and proven strategies.

The Administration strongly supports this legislation and looks forward to working with the Congress to ensure reauthorization of PEPFAR.

George W. Bush, Statement of Administration Policy: S. 2731 - Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/277931