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Public Statements

Congressional Budget for the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2004

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KERRY. As all of us know, there are 42 million people living with AIDS worldwide. The Senate has addressed this issue previously, but the amount of money annually allocated falls short of the promises almost every single year. We have been working in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to develop bipartisan legislation. What I ask our colleagues to do today is to provide the amount of money that we will authorize in that legislation, in order to combat the AIDS epidemic. It simply increases the funding level included in the budget resolution to match the spending levels that will be in the authorization bill by $800 million.

In addition, I tell all my colleagues, this is completely in line with the legislation Senator Frist and I wrote and put together and that the Senate passed last year. So it is not a change; it is what we did before, but it meets the promise of the Senate and does not fall short. It also dedicates $800 million for deficit reduction.

I ask my colleagues to help us fulfill a promise that has been too long in coming.

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