DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2004CONTINUED
AMENDMENT NO. 1283
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I stand with much reluctance to speak against the amendment proposed by the good Senator. But I would like to commend him first for bringing this matter to our attention.
I think it should be noted that as of this moment this Nation has spent over $15 billion primarily in research. If this was a case where we had a vaccine or we had some drug or some medicine that could cure global AIDS and that we were not purchasing it in a sufficient quantity, that would be another issue. Then one could say this is an emergency and we need more drugs or we need more vaccines. But we are still in the process of developing this vaccine.
Experience has shown us that by merely appropriating money does not find solutions with these problems. One must train technicians. One must take time to do research. Men and women who are experts in this area and who have a schedule are much more knowledgeable to tell us at this stage whether we should be spending so much. Finally, when we hopefully reach that moment when we can tell the world we have found the vaccine and we have found the drugs that can do it, then we can spend huge amounts.
We have spent over $15 billion. It is not an easy problem. To say that it is complex would be an understatement.
If this amount suggested by my friend and mentor would cure the problem, I think all of us here would be supporting it. But I think all of us realize we are still at the development stage.
If you study the process followed by other development programs, you will note that we always start small and then grow up to a point where we can do the huge spending. But we still must develop the vaccine. We still must develop the medicine. And just spending money is not going to do that.
Much as I want to support my dear friends, I find that I will be supporting my chairman in the motion to table.