1:28 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the motion to instruct on H.R. 3057.

1:29 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the motion to instruct on H.R. 3057.

1:31 PM EDT

Nita Lowey, D-NY 18th

Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, this motion to instruct the conferees on the fiscal year 2006 foreign operations bill will ensure that the House is clearly on record to provide the highest possible funding level for HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in 2006.

The motion I offer today makes a simple point: Although other issues have overtaken the global AIDS pandemic as front-page news, the pandemic is still growing; and we still have a responsibility to face the challenges it presents head-on.

I was very pleased, as always, to work with the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) to provide robust funding to fight the AIDS pandemic, both for the Office of Global AIDS coordinator at the State Department and for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria. With an allocation that was more than $2.5 billion below the President's request, we were able to provide full funding, and even a little bit more, for this key priority.

Fortunately, the Senate had even a higher allocation with which to work, and I am pleased that the Senate-passed bill significantly increased funding over the President's request for HIV-AIDS, including $500 million for the Global Fund, the premier multilateral mechanism for fighting AIDS and other infectious diseases.

As we approach conference on the fiscal year 2006 foreign operations appropriations bill, we must maintain our resolve to fund the fight against the global AIDS pandemic at the highest possible levels.

When the fiscal year 2006 bill finally passes, Congress will have provided more than $10 billion to fight AIDS since 2003. Our assistance has saved millions of lives, offered hope for a better future to those already infected with HIV, bolstered the institutional capacity of developing countries to deal with serious public health challenges, and offered comfort and safety to children orphaned by AIDS.

We have done so much. Still, the United Nations estimates indicate that $15 billion will be needed in the upcoming year to fight the pandemic, a need that dwarfs the approximately $6.1 billion available. While some have benefited from our largess and that of the international community, many millions more are being left behind.

Just yesterday, we saw reports of staggering statistics about the effect of the AIDS pandemic on children. Only one in 20 of the HIV-infected children worldwide who need life-prolonging drugs gets them. Only one out of 100 gets a cheap antibiotic that can save nearly half of the death rate from secondary infections like diarrhea and malaria. Fewer than one in 10 mothers infected with the HIV virus are given drugs that can stop transmission to their babies. And every minute of every day a child

dies of an AIDS-related illness.

The facts speak for themselves. We can and must do better. I urge my colleagues to support this motion to instruct.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:35 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey) for her motion. It gives our subcommittee, and it gives me, as chairman of the subcommittee, an opportunity to highlight once again how critical this battle against HIV-AIDS is, and this is something that is critical not only to this Congress but to President Bush and his administration.

Funding from these accounts in this fight against HIV-AIDS and also tuberculosis and malaria, three of the great killers of our time, has increased significantly in the years that I have been chairman of this subcommittee.

In the first year we were appropriating about $615 million in the international fight. Today, in our bill, the level is $2.7 billion. That is four times greater in just 4 years of bills for the Foreign Operations Subcommittee.

The Senate level, at nearly $3 billion, is almost five times greater.

Our bill that we passed in the House would provide $400 million for the Global Fund. That is twice what the President requested. The Senate bill has another $100 million and puts that figure at $500 million. The emergency plan for AIDS relief has revolutionized the fight against HIV-AIDS. We have not turned the corner in this disease. We have certainly not reached the end nor maybe even the beginning of the end; but to paraphrase Winston Churchill, perhaps we are at the end of the beginning.

We are clearly making great progress.

According to a number of public health experts, we are finally reaching the point where the focus countries in the President's emergency program, where these resources are not the limiting factor in addressing the spread of this disease, of HIV-AIDS. More than 200,000 people now receive life-sustaining AIDS treatment in Africa, and that is thanks to the generosity and caring of the United States taxpayers. For the first time, there is hope for these people. Training and the infrastructure now

has to be the focus of our efforts.

It will take the concerted will of all countries and groups that are involved with this fight to sustain and build on the progress that we have made thus far.

So once again, I want to thank my colleague for her dedication to this very important issue and for her work to help craft a bill that I think is one that we can go into conference feeling very good about and that we can defend with vigor.

So I am pleased to be able to accept the motion to instruct; and I am committed, as the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey) is, to reaching the highest possible level in the conference in the struggle against HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.