Senators block PEPFAR reauthorization
Seven Republican senators, led by Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, are delaying a vote to reauthorize PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). The current bill, which increases PEPFAR’s funding to over $50 billion, has generally received broad bipartisan support in Congress. Coburn and his allies are demanding that the majority of the funding be directed toward HIV/AIDS treatment, rather than prevention or other efforts. This action is arousing opposition from various political and advocacy circles, as well as a number of faith-based organizations.
- Politico.com offers this thorough and understandable report on the situation. At the end of the article, an especially helpful chart details key players and arguments.
- A blog post on the Christianity Today site summarizes the situation and provides a bit more context on faith-based responses. Gerson’s article (below) is cited at the end of the article.
- In a Washington Post op-ed written in May, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson delivers an impassioned critique of Coburn’s actions.
- A post on Harvard-based blog “Politics and Policy of HIV/AIDS” discusses the senators’ action and Gerson’s response.