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.

READ MORE:

  • 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.
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~ by h.e.g. on June 12, 2008.

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