Floor Speech: H.R. 5501 - Against the Costly Global Aids Relief Project
Washington, Jul 24, 2008 - Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to HR 5501. Let me first say that I have tremendous respect and admiration for the two men this bill is named after. Chairmen Lantos and Hyde were two strong principled men, and I very much enjoyed working with them on the Foreign Affairs Committee. However during this time of economic difficulty, this bill is humanitarianism gone wild, irrational behavior that we can not afford.
Where are we going to get the $48 billion for combating AIDS and the $2 billion for Native American programs? Well, we can gut programs for our own people. We can raise taxes, which would likely throw us into a recession and leave us even less of a tax base for our people at home. Or of course we can borrow it and let our grandchildren pay for it in some way. And yes, if we borrow it, it will probably come from Communist China making ourselves even more vulnerable to their pressure.
Mr. Speaker, we have big hearts, but we need to use our brains. We cannot afford $50 billion of generosity to foreigners. This will cost the American people. It will cost them their health care, their education for their children. It'll cost our veterans and our seniors. Our economy is facing a catastrophic setback because of the irresponsible spending and taxing policies of the Federal Government. And now we're going to exacerbate that problem with a $50 billion commitment to provide this health care to Africa.
To my friends on my side of the aisle Mr. Speaker, I say, if someone opposes earmarks in the name of fiscal responsibility don’t be expected to be taken seriously on that miniscule spending if you support this monstrous, expensive, feel good bill. This $50 billion dollar burden will be shouldered by our veterans, our elderly, and our children.
My friends on the other side of the aisle who believe America does not spend enough for our own people, more funds, we are repeatedly told, are needed for our veterans, for our elderly, and yes, our children. When we are already at a high level of deficit spending, how can you advocate sending $50 billion overseas?
This expenditure is not likely to cure AIDS in Africa, but what it will do is break our back. This well could be the two ton tree trunk that broke the camel’s back, the item that finally destroyed any hope for responsible spending by the Congress.
I ask my colleagues to vote against this type of nonsense. Watch out for the American people.
Related file not yet included named: pepfar_floor_speech_7-24-08.flv