November 19, 2013

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Hails Passage of Bipartisan PEPFAR Stewardship Act

November 19, 2013
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661

Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement today on the House’s passage of The PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, legislation which she co-authored in the House:  

“I am so proud of this bipartisan, bicameral effort to pass The PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act. I’m proud of this compromise bill, and pleased that it has passed. In the current political climate, where partisanship splits us apart, this is a true bipartisan effort that saves millions of lives all around the world. As an original co-author of PEPFAR back in 2003, I remember the early days of planning with the Congressional Black Caucus and then-President George Bush. The CBC was instrumental in the creation of PEPFAR, and in 2002 called on President Bush to have an “expanded US initiative” to “respond to the greatest plague in recorded history.”

“I believed then, as I do now, that we can achieve an AIDS-free generation with the right investments, like protecting funding for programs for orphans and vulnerable children, supporting the Global Fund, and guiding the transition toward greater country ownership, while also expanding effective combination prevention programs and HIV/AIDS research.

“With ten years of success in saving lives, our strong support for PEPFAR has supported nearly 6 million people with life-saving treatment, more than 11 million pregnant women have received HIV testing and counseling, and more than one million babies have been born HIV-free. This is a truly remarkable achievement. This PEPFAR bill and the bipartisan support for our HIV/AIDS response represent the very best that Congress can be.”


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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. Congresswoman Lee serves as a Representative from the United States to the 68th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.