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Bob C.
Republican TN

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  • Pepfar

    by Senator Bob Corker

    Posted on 2013-12-20

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    CORKER. Mr. President, first, I want to say I appreciate Senator Coburn's work on the PEPFAR Program. He has been a tireless advocate and has made this program better, more efficient, and more focused. PEPFAR has saved millions of lives since President Bush signed it into law in 2003. I was pleased to work with Chairman Menendez and our colleagues in the House on legislation, the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, which continues its important work, and I truly appreciate the support Senator Coburn offered to this critical effort. PEPFAR is the single most successful program to date to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease internationally. In fact, due to PEPFAR, almost 6 million people are receiving life-sustaining antiretroviral treatment, millions have avoided infection, and more than 11 million pregnant women received HIV testing and counseling last year. PEPFAR has also provided care and support to nearly 15 million people, including more than 4.5 million orphans and vulnerable children. This is significant progress, but there is still work to do. The PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act renews Congress's commitment to this vital program and ensures this work will continue our progress towards an AIDS-free generation.

    As my colleague Senator Coburn has stated, a provision in the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act extends authority from the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 that requires ``more than half of the amounts appropriated for bilateral global HIV/AIDS assistance'' be spent on programs that provide treatment and care to HIV/AIDS patients. We included an extension of this authority in the 2013 bill because it is important to ensure the program remains focused on treating and caring for patients. The plain language of the provision requires the ``more than half'' calculation to be made on all ``amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to carry out the provisions of section 104A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.'' We expect this requirement to be followed going forward.

    I look forward to working with Senator Coburn and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to ensure that the provision as intended by Congress is properly carried out.

    Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, the Globe Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has recently made significant improvements and reforms, including building new data collection and reporting mechanisms. S. 1545, the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, takes advantage of these reforms and provides for additional public reporting from the Global Fund on import duties and taxes on Global Fund services and commodities under section 4(b)(1)(F). This reporting is intended to identify discriminatory duties and taxes levied upon the Global Fund, and therefore should not be construed to require the reporting of de minimus administrative charges or nondiscriminatory fees. In addition, in order to allow the Global Fund time to develop the data collection systems required to implement this reporting, it is our intention that these requirements become fully effective as soon as is practicable, but no later than the end of the 2015 fiscal year. In the meantime, the Global Fund's efforts to meet the requirements of section 4(b)(1)(F) with additional reporting on these matters should be sufficient to meet the requirements in our legislation.

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