Petri Votes Against Global AIDS Funding

House Roll Call: Global AIDS Bill
By The Associated Press

The 308-116 roll call Wednesday by which the House passed a global AIDS bill authorizing $50 billion in spending over five years.

A "yes" vote is a vote to pass the bill.

Voting yes were 230 Democrats and 78 Republicans.


Democrats Baldwin, Y; Kagen, Y; Kind, Y; Moore, Y; Obey, Y.

Republicans Petri, N; Ryan, N; Sensenbrenner, N.


The US House of Representatives passed a 5-year, $50 million reauthorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on Wednesday. President Bush originally asked for $30 million for the program in his proposed 2009 budget, but the House expanded the PEPFAR funding by $20 million. The money will be used to fund programs in countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

A provision requiring one-third of funds to go to abstinence-only programs was removed by the House. However, the bill still requires prevention program funding to be "balanced" between abstinence, fidelity, and condom programs. According to the Daily Women's Health Policy Report, countries spending less than half of their funding on abstinence-only and fidelity programs would have to "explain their decision to Congress." PEPFAR money still may not be used for abortion services; though some funding for HIV services can go to family planning clinics.

The Kaiser Network reports that the reauthorization bill is intended to shift PEPFAR from an emergency relief program to a long-term program. It aims to train 140,000 new health care workers, add nutrition services like clean water programs, provide loans to women widowed by AIDS or who are ostracized because they have AIDS, increase the number of people receiving antiretroviral drugs, and prevent 12 million new HIV cases.

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