PEPFAR Victory (One Campaign)

July 18, 2008 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

And it was a big one. In the past few weeks, more than 100,000 ONE members have written letters, signed petitions and made phone calls, asking our senators to support the reauthorization of PEPFAR, America’s lifesaving response to global AIDS, TB and malaria.

On Wednesday, 80 senators did just that by voting to pass PEPFAR. Overwhelming bipartisan majorities stuck together to defeat a number of amendments that threatened to cut funding or otherwise undercut the success we’ve had in fighting these diseases.

In Oregon, both Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden voted to reauthorize PEPFAR, answering your calls and providing hope for the millions of people around the world who look to America as a partner in fighting these deadly, but treatable diseases. In fact, Senator Smith went a step beyond by co-sponsoring PEPFAR reauthorization and showing unshakeable commitment to our cause.

I hope you’ll take a moment to call Senators Smith and Wyden at the numbers below to thank them for standing with us and reaffirming America’s commitment to saving lives in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Senator Gordon Smith
Phone: 202-224-3753

Senator Ron Wyden
Phone: 202-224-5244

When you speak to your senators’ staff, make sure to tell them:

1. You are a constituent and a ONE member.
2. That you appreciate and support their vote to reauthorize PEPFAR for five more years.
3. You are especially grateful for Senator Smith’s decision to co-sponsor PEPFAR.
4. You recognize how important it is for America to continue to lead the world in efforts to end global disease and extreme poverty – even as we face challenges at home.

After you’ve made your calls, please report your call by clicking here:

http://one.org/call?tg=FSOR_2.FSOR_1&cp_id=30&id=418-3533236-UryluHx&t=1

A victory of this scale calls for reflection and recognition of everyone who made it possible. After PEPFAR passed the House of Representatives with strong support from President Bush, it got stuck in the Senate, where a handful of opponents used procedural tactics to prevent all action on the bill. Their unwillingness to allow open debate on PEPFAR prevented it from being passed before the G8 Summit in Hokkaido, Japan, earlier this month, where it could have been a powerful diplomatic tool to leverage commitments from other wealthy nations.

It took your voices, combined with the work of many others, and patient and persistent efforts by our allies in Washington to get PEPFAR unstuck. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senators Biden and Lugar, and the White House all demonstrated extraordinary leadership in making this all possible.

And just as we pushed and prodded our senators to support this bill over the past weeks, it’s important that we take a moment now to thank our leaders for their support.

Senator Gordon Smith
Phone: 202-224-3753

Senator Ron Wyden
Phone: 202-224-5244

After you’ve made your calls, please report your call by clicking here:

http://one.org/call?tg=FSOR_2.FSOR_1&cp_id=30&id=418-3533236-UryluHx&t=2

This new PEPFAR is going to do a whole lot of good for millions of people. It will provide care for 12 million AIDS patients, including five million orphans. It contains massive increases in investments in fighting TB and malaria, two diseases that are at their most devastating in the world’s poorest countries. And in places desperate for doctors and nurses, PEPFAR will provide training for 140,000 new healthcare professionals.

Reauthorizing PEPFAR is an accomplishment we can be proud of and the Senate vote was the last major hurdle. In the coming days we expect the House to pass the Senate version of the bill and President Bush to sign it into law.

It’s a victory for the world’s most vulnerable people that won’t be forgotten. And we can be sure our senators don’t forget by thanking them for their leadership and reminding them of our ongoing support for acts of diplomacy that save lives and reflect the generosity of Americans.

Senator Gordon Smith
Phone: 202-224-3753

Senator Ron Wyden
Phone: 202-224-5244

Thank you for your voice,

Josh Peck, ONE.org

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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