Senate Accepts Coburn Amendments Demanding Greater Transparency of U.S. Contributions to U.N. and Global Fund
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released the following statement regarding his amendments to the fiscal year 2007 foreign operations appropriations bills. Dr. Coburn offered four amendments to the foreign operations bill last night.
"The American people are very generous and we can honor their generosity by ensuring that their tax dollars are not being lost to waste, fraud or corruption. Every dollar that is squandered in these areas is a dollar that can't be used to potentially save a life or make a troubled region more secure," Dr. Coburn said.
"I'm pleased that the Senate voted for greater openness and transparency at the United Nations. I'm also encouraged the Senate accepted my amendment that will help end the secrecy surrounding how U.S. taxpayers' dollars are spent as part of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. I hope my colleagues will keep these important amendments in conference. Secretly removing these provisions would, in my opinion, violate the trust of the American people, particularly after these measures passed by overwhelming margins," Dr. Coburn said.
Coburn amendment 2773 calling for greater transparency regarding the expenditure of U.S. contributions to the United Nations passed 92 to 1. Coburn amendment 2706 regarding U.S. contributions to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria passed unanimously by a voice vote.
Two other Coburn amendments were defeated. Coburn amendment 2704 failed by a vote of 33 to 60. This amendment would have prohibited U.S. contributions to the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) from being used for malaria prevention or control, programs that are failing, scientifically flawed and unaccountable
Coburn amendment 2716 failed by a vote of 46 to 47. This amendment would have directed funding toward programs in the Child Survival and Health account, which has been proven to save lives among the most vulnerable populations, including President Bush's successful malaria initiative. These additional funds would have been moved away from lower priority programs such as the Global Environment Facility, which, in addition to not demonstrating any results and has proven susceptible to corruption and mismanagement, is also run by the U.N. Development Program, an entity recently implicated in illegal cash transfers to the North Korean regime.