Congresswoman Barbara Lee Introduces PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act

Sep 25, 2013 Issues: HIV/AIDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2013
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661

Washington, D.C.— Today, Congresswoman Lee, joined by Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Congressman Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, introduced the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, H.R. 3177, a bill designed to extend certain critical authorities and strengthen program oversight to PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to ensure access to essential prevention and treatment services.

Congresswoman Lee said, “As an original author of PEPFAR, I am pleased to see these badly-needed extensions, and the reforms outlined in this bi-partisan legislation. Though there is more work to be done, these continued investments will help to deliver life-saving support and ensure that we can achieve an AIDS-free generation and deliver life-saving support around the world.”

The bill requires coordination by the Inspectors General to develop oversight and audit plans; extends reporting requirements for cost studies; caps U.S. participation in the Global Fund; requires a robust annual report; and protects funding for treatment for orphans and vulnerable children.

With the United States’ strong commitment to stopping the HIV/AIDS epidemic, almost 6 million people are receiving life-sustaining antiretroviral treatment. More than 11 million pregnant women received HIV testing and counseling last year, and as a result of adequate treatment, this year, the one-millionth baby was born HIV-free, thanks to PEPFAR.  PEPFAR has also provided care and support to nearly 15 million people, including more than 4.5 million orphans and vulnerable children.  It is critical that Congress demonstrate its continued support and help guide its continued transition toward greater country ownership, while enhancing the ability to exercise effective oversight of this life-saving program.    

Read more about the history of PEPFAR and the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act here.

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Follow Barbara Lee on Facebook and Twitter at @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more, visit lee.house.gov.

 

Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in the fight against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. She co-authored legislation signed into law creating the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in 2000, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, the PEPFAR Reauthorization Act in 2008, and in 2005 legislation addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS.  She has also been a leader in the effort to establish a National AIDS Strategy, and is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services & Education with jurisdiction over all domestic HIV/AIDS funding.  She is the only United States representative on United Nations Development Programme’s Global Commission on HIV and the Law and was the original sponsor of legislation that lead to the repeal of the Immigration and Travel ban that barred the entry of HIV positive individuals. The repeal allowed the International AIDS conference to take place in July 2012 in Washington, D.C., which was held in the U.S. after 20 years. In September of 2013, President Obama nominated Congresswoman Lee to serve as a Representative of the United States to the Sixty-eighth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, making her the first African American woman to hold this position.