U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) applauded passage of H.R. 2764, the fiscal year 2008 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. Smith voted for the bill, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 241 to 178.
“The House voted yesterday to live up to our moral obligations as the most powerful and prosperous nation on the planet. The funds in this bill will save lives, slow the spread of disease and help developing countries get on their feet. Further, these funds will aid our efforts to undercut drug traffickers and terrorists in Afghanistan,” Smith said.
H.R. 2764 provides $34.2 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal year 2008. The bill makes key investments including:
- $210.5 million for critical humanitarian and peacekeeping programs in Darfur, 90 percent more than the President’s request.
- $5.1 billion for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care programs around the world, which is 33 percent more than fiscal year 2007 and 13 percent more than the President’s request. This includes $550 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which President Bush failed to request.
- $1.7 billion for development assistance, 15 percent more than fiscal year 2007 and 67 percent more than the President’s request. These funds include $750 million in grants to organizations that support basic education programs, an increase of $200 million from the FY 2007 House-passed bill. The bill also provides $300 million for safe water programs, including $100 million for a new initiative requiring the Administration to develop a strategy to help high-priority countries address their water issues.
- More than $1 billion for reconstruction and counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan. These funds include $235 million in counter-narcotics funding and $75 million for programs specifically related to helping women.
- $214 million for trade capacity building to help developing countries take advantage of international trade opportunities, $127 million more than the President requested.
- $50 million specifically for the prevention, control and treatment of extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). The first reported outbreak of XDR-TB killed 52 of 53 infected patients, with half dying within 16 days of their diagnosis. XDR-TB made U.S. headlines when an infected man from Georgia was able to reenter the country despite clear warnings to border entry points not to allow him to do so.
H.R. 2764 must now be considered by the Senate before it can be signed into law by the President.