July 16, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement after voting against passage of the “Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008,” (PEPFAR) legislation.
“The PEPFAR program, which initially sent $20 Billion to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, has been vastly successful,” Senator Inhofe said. “Unfortunately, when it came time to reauthorize this important legislation, Members of Congress increased the price tag to $50 Billion, which is $30 Billion over the last authorization and $15 Billion over the President’s request. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the program would only be able to absorb increased funding to the level of $35 billion over five years. I support funding this program, but at a level that can be proven executable.
“Equally concerning, this legislation doubles funding for the Global Fund, a program which has had management, transparency and government issues and supports activities such as the United Nations Population Fund in China
“During my many trips to the continent of Africa, I have witnessed the devastating impacts of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is imperative that we reauthorize this important legislation, but it must be done in a responsible manner.
“We must ensure that the amount authorized is proven executable and does not veer away from its initial, successful purpose by creating a new and potentially unsustainable government program abroad.”