Sens. Santorum, Durbin Seek To Double Bush Administration’s FY 2006 Contribution to Global Fund
Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) on Thursday announced they will seek to more than double the Bush administration's proposed fiscal year 2006 contribution to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Washington Post reports. President Bush's proposed FY 2006 budget would provide $300 million to the Global Fund, but Santorum and Durbin want that amount increased to $800 million (Brown/Priest, Washington Post, 3/11). The senators on March 5 sent a letter to the chair of the Senate Budget Committee to "underscore the importance of the United States' commitment to international HIV/AIDS assistance programs," according to a Santorum release. The letter states that the senators would seek a floor amendment when the budget is considered by the full Senate if the committee fails to add the additional funding. "Every country and every person must take responsibility for the globalization of health, but the United States, as the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation, should take the lead in securing resources to fight the global AIDS pandemic," Durbin said. "This is one of the most consequential issues of our time, and we cannot afford to avoid responding to this crisis," Santorum said, adding, "We must continue our commitment of compassion and work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that the efforts to fight these diseases know no political boundaries." Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem praised the United States as the group's "most generous supporter," adding, "To keep our promise to the world's poor, we must sustain this momentum. We need more money to do so, and I applaud Sens. Santorum and Durbin for their leadership to help meet out fundraising needs" (Santorum release, 3/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.