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Jim M.
Democrat WA 7

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  • Pepfar Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013

    by Representative Jim McDermott

    Posted on 2013-11-19

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    McDERMOTT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, I associate myself with all the remarks of my friends.



    We have had a remarkable occurrence in my time in the Congress. This was once a death sentence. Today, we are on the verge of being able to produce an AIDS-free generation.

    Now, it is great and we are always excited when we do something new and big and exciting, but maintaining and pushing forward to finish the project is really where we are. This bill will pass without a vote against it, I am quite sure. But the real question is: What do we put in the budget? Because if we don't maintain what is going on in the world today, we will lose. We will go backward.

    {time} 1700 It is like we have built a dike and we are holding back the sea. But the fact is if we don't have the drugs available when mothers deliver children and you do that intervention right at the appropriate time, you will not prevent the children from getting it. You will not be able to give the long-term care to the mothers as they raise these children.

    In my view, that is really where we are.

    This was the crowning achievement, I think, of the administration of George Bush. His starting this was a statement to the world that the United States cared about an epidemic that affected the entire face of the universe. And we have done a good job.

    But I say this because I worry about the sequester. What does sequester mean to this? What will be the reductions? Because I am getting calls from my friends in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Kenya, saying, How much money is there going to be next year? Will we be able to expand the program, keep it the same, or are we going to have to retrench? That is what the world is watching as we face this upcoming vote on the budget.

    I hope that we have as many votes for funding the program as we do for reauthorizing it here today in this bill.

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