The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release


Congresswoman Lee: PEPFAR Reauthorization is "Testament to Bipartisan Cooperation"


Today Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4), along with their colleagues Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39), Ranking Member Eliot Engel (NY-16), Ranking Member Karen Bass (CA-37), and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), reintroduced the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, H.R. 6651.

"For the last 15 years, PEPFAR has been a testament to the bipartisan cooperation on U.S. leadership in global public health. Thanks to PEPFAR, millions of lives have been saved through HIV/AIDS treatment, care, and education. But our work is far from over - we are at a tipping point and Congress must recommit to this fight," said Congresswoman Lee. "Many still do not have the resources and care they need, and stigma stands in the way of eradicating this disease for good. At this pivotal time, Congress must do the important work to protect and fund programs like PEPFAR and the Global Fund. As an early champion of these initiatives, I am so proud of our work across the aisle, ensuring that PEPFAR can continue to save lives for decades to come."

"As a long-term PEPFAR implementer, we see the program's remarkable success up close, but we are also very aware how much work remains," said Charles Lyons, President and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. "Sustained support and leadership on the part of the U.S. is instrumental, and EGPAF welcomes this step toward renewing commitments to ending the epidemic."

"Our remarkable progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS is a testament to the ingenuity, commitment, and generosity of the American people and the exceptional work that PEPFAR does to bring hope to people fighting one of the world's worst epidemics. It is also a testament to the spirit of bipartisanship that is at the very heart of PEPFAR," said Tom Hart, North America executive director at The ONE Campaign. "AIDS is still a crisis and PEPFAR needs to be allowed to continue doing its life-saving mission. Representatives Smith and Lee should be applauded for making sure America doesn't retreat from the fight. The ONE Campaign enthusiastically supports this legislation and will work with its 3 million members in the United States to ensure it becomes law."

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat, represents the 13th District in California.