2:12 PM EDT
Chaka Fattah, D-PA 2nd

Mr. FATTAH. Mr. Chairman, I rise to thank the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) and the ranking member, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey). In working on this bill, we found agreement on an initiative that is very important to me, and I think important to our efforts in Africa in terms of combating some of the difficulties there, particularly related to HIV and the growing threat of AIDS.

We have report language that accompanies this bill that the chairman and his staff were willing to agree to that would bring together a number of our more capable agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, the USAID and others, and have them develop a plan to take a nonincremental approach at creating a healthier blood supply in Africa. In Africa, millions of people who have contracted AIDS have done so through tainted blood transfusions, particularly pediatric AIDS cases. The ranking

member and the chairman and the staff have helped us move forward an initiative to focus on this problem. I rise to thank them.

Secondly, the bill also talks about creating a more coordinated and comprehensive effort on infectious diseases and health challenges on the continent of Africa, particularly in the sub-Saharan region.

Also, I have had a chance to speak to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis) and his top staffer, Frank Cushing, on this matter; and I really appreciate the majority's willingness to look anew at some of these issues and think through how we can approach this matter in a creative way. I thank the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) and his staff and the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey) and her staff.