I am pleased to see President Bush focusing on the need for a major effort to combat HIV/AIDS across the globe. I have been working for months in the Foreign Relations Committee with the Chairman and Ranking Member to fashion a bipartisan bill that meets two key objectives. First, it should provide substantial resources for our global AIDS policy, including more funding than the President has indicated he would support for multilateral efforts through the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Second, it should promote programs that will be effective on the ground.
With more than 5,000 Africans dying each day of AIDS, President Bush must take the lead in calling upon his conservative Republican allies in the House of Representatives not to hold global AIDS legislation hostage to ideology, because there's no time to wait and American leadership is needed as never before.