CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the House will consider S. 1545, the PEPFAR Stewardship Oversight Act, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on September 24, 2013 by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The bill passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on November 18, 2013.
S.1545 improves oversight by amending the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003: (1) to extend the requirement that Inspectors General of the State Department, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) jointly develop coordinated annual plans for oversight activity to combat global HIV/AIDS; (2) to require the State Department’s Global AIDS Coordinator to complete a study of treatment providers; and (3) to limit the total U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to no more than 33 percent of the total amount of fund contributions.
Moreover, this legislation extends the critical authorities, limitations, and funding allocations for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Program (PEPFAR), and extends the funding set-aside for orphans and other children affected by, or vulnerable to, HIV/AIDS. Finally, the bill makes revisions to President’s annual HIV/AIDS report requirements. This bill would not include new authorizations or appropriations.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was an initiative launched in 2003 to combat global HIV/AIDS. The United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 codified PEPFAR and authorized $39 billion for bilateral HIV/AIDS programs and for the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. PEPFAR was reauthorized in 2008. As of 2012, “the U.S. directly supported more than 5.1 million people on antiretroviral treatment (ART)” through PEPFAR. In addition, PEPFAR programs have “supported antiretroviral drugs (ARV) to prevent mother-to-child transmission for more than 750,000 pregnant women living with HIV,” with 230,000 infant HIV infections prevented in 2012 alone. PEPFAR expired September 30, 2013.
CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have discretionary costs of $15 million over the 2014-2018 window, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
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