Friday, July 25, 2008
It's all up to the Bushinator now...
The House on Thursday voted 303-115 to approve a HR 5501 which would reauthorize the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The legislation allocates a total of $50 billion -- $48 billion of which would go to PEPFAR and $2 billion of which would go to American Indian issues.

Two major changes have been made with this year's reauthorization. I thank members of Congress for including both of them and despite conservative pressure to reject these changes, passage of the bill.

1) The first change includes a provision that would ease U.S. HIV/AIDS travel restrictions.

2) The second overturns an existing law that requires one-third of prevention funds be spent on abstinence and fidelity programs, instead requiring a report to Congress if countries do not spend half of prevention money on such programs. It ain't perfect but at least it allows countries, cultures and demographics where abstinence education is beside the point (e.g., sex workers) to have an out. Of course the legislation continues to contains an existing requirement that organizations receiving PEPFAR aid have a policy that opposes commercial sex work. Which I've written about before.

Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), not a friend of anything that involves critical thinking noted, "We have big hearts, but we need to use our brains," Rep. Dana said, adding, "We cannot afford $50 billion of generosity to foreigners." O Rly? 'Cause we seem to be spending that money in other places you've seen fit to give that generosity...Dana.

Bush is expected to sign the legislation next week. He'd better because frankly, we just don't need another round of this.

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Blogger Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

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