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Last Updated:10/05/01
Speech by Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Maryland), July 24, 2001
Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the McGovern-Hoekstra-Pelosi-Morella-Jackson-Lee global health amendment to H.R. 2506, the fiscal year 2002 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

I want to commend my friend, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. MCGOVERN), for taking the lead in bringing this important amendment to the House floor.

What the amendment does is it shifts $100 million from military aid, and this is the intent, to Colombia to the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund. It would add $50 million for child survival and maternal health programs that improve maternal and child health and nutrition, reduce infant and child mortality, and support polio eradication programs.

Additionally, this amendment would add $50 million for infectious disease, and that is specifically for international tuberculosis programs. While TB overall is on the decline in this country, it continues unabated globally. An estimated 8 million people worldwide develop active TB each year. There are 2 million TB-related deaths worldwide each year, and TB causes more deaths among women worldwide than all cases of maternal mortality combined.

TB is the leading cause of death among people who are HIV-infected, accounting for one-third of AIDS deaths worldwide. The global TB epidemic could impact declines that have been made in the United States.

Mr. Chairman, it is impossible to control TB in the United States until we control it internationally. According to experts, an additional $1 billion is needed to adequately address this killer. The United States must take a leadership role in supporting and substantially increasing spending programs to eliminate the spread of TB worldwide. Passage of this amendment would translate into $120 million for international TB eradication efforts for fiscal year 2002.

Equally as important is increased funding for the child survival and maternal health programs. Each year, more than 10 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday due to preventable infectious diseases such as pneumonia, measles, and diarrhea.

Nearly 500,000 women die of pregnancy-related causes each year; and every minute around the world 380 women become pregnant, 110 women experience pregnancy-related complications, and one woman dies.

Mr. Chairman, the $100 million this amendment seeks to shift is offset strictly by military aid to the Colombian Armed Forces. I want to emphasize the fact that it does not, despite what we have heard, it does not touch any police aid, which would be $152 million, and it certainly does not touch any of the $146 million for social and economic investment in Colombia. Neither does it affect the remaining $277 million of the military economic or development aid for Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, or Venezuela that is contained within the $676 million Andean Counterdrug Initiative.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment should pass by voice vote on its merits alone. However, if there is a recorded vote, I urge passage of the McGovern-Hoekstra - Pelosi - Morella - Jackson- Lee global health amendment.

As of October 3, 2001, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r107:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20010724)
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