4:41 PM EDT

Barbara Lee, D-CA 9th

Ms. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I want to first start by thanking the chairman, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe), and our ranking member of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), for their hard work on this bill and for making sure that it is a bipartisan bill. I also thank them for their very difficult work in establishing the priorities in terms of our foreign policy funding priorities. I know that every

year they are given, I believe, an inadequate allocation and that they both wish that they could do more to meet our foreign assistance priorities.

But, Mr. Chairman, I am compelled to come to the floor today and offer this amendment because every year the global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria pandemics kill over 6 million people combined. Just imagine that, over 6 million every year. That is more than the number of people who die from war, famine, terrorism or natural disasters each year combined. That is really quite mind-boggling. What is worse, each of these three diseases is completely, completely preventible and treatable; and

in the case of tuberculosis and malaria, they can be completely cured.

So while we have begun to focus our efforts and funding with regard to this pandemic, I believe that we cannot afford to drag our feet and just let 6 million people die like this year after year. When do we draw the line and say enough is enough and we are going to escalate our efforts and put more resources into this pandemic?

We cannot in good conscience, Mr. Chairman, ignore this human tragedy that unfolds around us each and every day. We must act, and we must act in a bold fashion.

That is why today I am offering an amendment to add $600 million in emergency funding to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, adding to the $400 million already in the bill, and bringing our total contribution to $1 billion.

Unfortunately, last week $100 million was actually cut from the Global Fund in the Labor-HHS bill by this body. The Global Fund is one of the most powerful tools that we have as an international community to combat these three diseases. In fact, we created the framework for the Global Fund back in 2000 with the passage of the Global Aids and Tuberculosis Relief Act of 2000, which was signed into law by President Clinton.

[Time: 16:45]

And we provided the very first contribution in 2001 to help attract further financing from other donor nations.

Today, the Global Fund is a model for what the future of international development may look like. Designed strictly as a financing instrument, the Global Fund seeks to attract, manage, leverage, and disburse funding to support locally-driven strategies to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. To date, the Global Fund has approved $3.4 billion for over 300 grants in 127 countries.

However, this year the Global Fund faces one of its biggest challenges: renewing over the $1.8 billion in existing grant agreements and approving upwards of $1 billion in new contracts, and this is still not enough. With the renewing of these contracts, there is just not enough money.

Without increased support from the United States and other donor nations, the fund may be forced to cut back on funding new grants and, worse, may be forced to cut crucial funding for people already on anti-retroviral therapy. Mr. Chairman, that would quite frankly just be totally disastrous.

Around the world, momentum is building in support of increased funding for the Global Fund and other international development initiatives. Two weeks ago, France announced it that would double its Global Fund contribution through 2007. Last week, Japan pledged $5 billion in new funding to help Africa combat AIDS, TB, and malaria, with a sizable contribution going to the Global Fund. And, with the upcoming G-8 summit taking place in Scotland next week, and with the British Prime Minister's focus

on a huge new development initiative for Africa, the United States can and must do more. By providing $600 million in emergency funding, my amendment would take that first step.

Mr. Chairman, because my amendment is an emergency spending request, it will exceed the foreign operations subcommittee's 302(b) allocation and, therefore, I know that that is subject to a point of order. But I would hope that given the gravity of the pandemic, that my colleagues would consider this as a moral effort, strictly a moral effort to those who desperately need our help. Given the magnitude of the deaths and the pain and the suffering caused by HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria, and the devastation

that these diseases leave behind, I would ask the Chair to reject the point of order.


4:47 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentlewoman's commitment and passion, and I certainly share her commitment about the need to do something about HIV/AIDS. Nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, I must make a point of order against the amendment because it does propose to change existing law and constitutes legislation in an appropriation bill and therefore violates clause 2 of rule XXI.

The rule states in pertinent part:

``An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law.''

The amendment does include an emergency designation and, as such, it constitutes legislation in violation of clause 2 of rule XXI.

I ask for a ruling of the Chair.