President to Sign Historic Global Health Bill

Lantos-Hyde Bill provides $48 billion over five years to fight major global killer diseases, including $4 billion for TB

Washington, DC (July 30, 2008) — President George Bush today will sign into law an historic measure to fight global disease. The Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 authorizes the $48 billion over five years to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

The legislation authorizes expanded funding for global HIV/AIDS and malaria initiatives, and authorizes critical new support for tuberculosis. The Lantos-Hyde Act requires a five-year plan to treat 4.5 million TB cases, and authorizes $4 billion for the prevention and treatment of the disease. TB kills 1.7 million people every year, and is the leading killer of people with HIV/AIDS.

"This legislation is the beginning of the end of U.S. underinvestment in TB control," said RESULTS' Executive Director Joanne Carter. "The Lantos-Hyde Act sets out clear, ambitious goals for stopping TB, and authorizes the resources needed to achieve them."

The legislation authorizes funding, but does not guarantee that funding will be appropriated by Congress. "Congress has provided a bold framework for seriously addressing TB," said Carter. "Real progress will require a bold plan from the next president to rapidly expand TB control efforts, and an ongoing commitment from Congress to provide the necessary funding."

President Bush signed the bill after a prolonged congressional debate. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the legislation in April, and the Senate approved the bill by a 80-16 vote after protracted negotiations. While the original House version authorized a full $50 billion for AIDS, TB and malaria, the Senate version was cut to $48 billion over five years. The House subsequently adopted the Senate's version of the bill.

"We are grateful for congressional and administration efforts to enact this critical bill into law and the leadership by Congress to ensure the bill included strong support for TB, the leading curable infectious killer of adults in the world," said Carter. "We look forward to working with Congress and a new administration to ensure the vision of this bill is realized."