Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, May 16, 2003

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Hyde Comments on Passage of HIV/AIDS Bill

(WASHINGTON) - U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, commented today on Senate passage of H.R. 1298, the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS Act of 2003, drafted by Hyde and U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), Ranking Democrat on the committee:

With Senate passage of the Hyde-Lantos legislation, work begins in earnest to rescue millions of people suffering with HIV/AIDS. Not since the bubonic plague swept across the world in the last millennium has humanity confronted such a horrible curse. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is more than a humanitarian crisis, it’s also increasingly a threat to the security of the developed world, ripping at the fabric of developing societies, pushing fragile governments and economies to the point of collapse.

The Hyde-Lantos bill establishes a pattern of American leadership that other wealthy nations, I believe, will follow. Passage of Hyde-Lantos reflects important bipartisan support for those less fortunate around the world affected by this deadly scourge and sets the stage for an unprecedented rescue effort.

It is my expectation that the House will accept the only Senate amendment to the bill that provides debt relief for poor nations, and that this vital legislation will be signed by the President within the next few weeks.