HR 3519 -- 05/15/2000

May 15, 2000

H.R. 3519 - World Bank AIDS Marshall Plan Trust Fund Act
(Leach (R) IA and 29 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports the passage of H.R. 3519, which would increase international efforts to combat the global spread of HIV/AIDS, and agrees with its sponsors that there is a critical need for new sources of funding in order to combat this growing pandemic effectively. The President's FY 2001 Budget requests a $100 million increase for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and related activities, bringing the total HIV/AIDS funding (exclusive of research) in FY 2001 to $342 million. The current U.S. efforts to combat global HIV/AIDS are by far the largest among bilateral and multilateral donors. In addition, the Administration has proposed a $50 million contribution to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and new tax credits to help spur the development and distribution of vaccines for HIV/AIDS and other diseases that result in millions of deaths every year in the developing world.

The Administration believes that H.R. 3519 takes an important step towards our common objective of increasing the international effort to combat this pandemic. We believe that additional flexibility in negotiating the exact structure of the multilateral funding mechanism will ensure that this mechanism will best meet the objectives of other donors and the requirements of recipient countries and organizations, and therefore will maximize our ability to increase other donor participation. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address this goal. We also note that H.R. 3519 raises constitutional concerns regarding the President's exclusive authority in foreign affairs to represent, and negotiate on behalf of, the United States.

The Administration remains fully committed to other high priority international initiatives and to the funding levels proposed in the President's Budget for HIV/AIDS programs and other critical components of our existing international affairs budget request. A new multilateral funding mechanism will take time to become operational and effective, and therefore the passage of the President's FY 2001 Budget for HIV/AIDS programs is imperative and will result in immediate assistance in the fight against global HIV/AIDS.