In another sign of the leftward drift of the national Republican Party, only 24 Republican senators voted on Tuesday for an amendment to the global AIDS bill to prohibit AIDS funds from being used to pay for forced abortions and sterilizations in Communist China. The $50 billion legislation, which is still being debated on the Senate floor, has the support of Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama, as well as organizations associated with his financial backer, billionaire leftist George Soros.
There is a strong possibility that Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate and original sponsor of the legislation, could also vote for it. But that may depend on the ultimate form the bill takes on the Senate floor and whether conservatives can put enough pressure on him to reject it.
In a provision that has ramifications for the immigration debate, the bill would allow AIDS-infected aliens into the U.S., despite the obvious health dangers.
Only $15 billion had originally been proposed in the bill, known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Democrats added the extra money, bringing it up to $50 billion, and President Bush, apparently determined to leave a “legacy” of massive increases in foreign aid spending, decided to go along with the Democrats and now favors its passage.
Bucking the President and the powerful AIDS lobby, which includes dozens of liberal-left organizations, conservative Republican Senators Jim DeMint, David Vitter and Jeff Sessions are trying to limit the scope and funding of the bill. They have already succeeded in exposing the use of AIDS money in funding forced abortion programs and the luxurious lifestyles of international AIDS bureaucrats.
But the sheer size of the spending bill, at a time when Americans are losing their homes and savings in a deteriorating economy, has itself become a major issue.
“Passing $50 billion in new spending at a time when our nation is deeply in debt is completely irresponsible,” DeMint declared. “We’re burying our kids and grandkids under a mountain of debt while we refuse to make tough decisions. American families are facing sky-high gas and food prices and have to sacrifice to make ends meet, but Congress just keeps spending and passing the bill on to someone else. It’s not right and it’s time for it to stop.”
DeMint proposed an amendment on Tuesday to prohibit funds in the bill authorized for the United Nations-affiliated Global Fund from going to organizations that perform coercive abortions and involuntary sterilization in China and other countries. But 70 senators voted to table and therefore kill the amendment.
Only 24 Senators voted for it. They were: Allard (R-CO), Barrasso (R-WY), Bond (R-MO), Bunning (R-KY), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Kyl (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Sessions (R-AL), Smith (R-OR), Thune (R-SD), Vitter (R-LA), and Wicker (R-MS).
Senators Obama and McCain didn’t vote on the DeMint amendment, apparently because they were on the presidential campaign trail. The entire vote tally can be viewed on the Senate website.
While the bill purports to save lives, primarily through the use of controversial anti-AIDS drugs, DeMint noted that the bill funnels a large amount of money into a U.N.-affiliated agency that is complicit in the killing of unborn children in China.
He explained, “While the U.S. is by far the largest contributor to the United Nations Global Fund, sending over $2.5 billion to the organization since it began in 2001, it has not been subject to the Kemp-Kasten policy that prevents tax dollars from supporting forced abortions. The new PEPFAR bill greatly increases the U.S. commitment to the Global Fund with more than $10 billion over the next five years. At least two large Global Fund grants in 2004 and 2006, totaling over $70 million, were given to various Chinese agencies including the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), the organization tasked with implementing China’s ‘one-child-per-family’ policy.”
Under that policy, women are forced to undergo abortions if they are pregnant with a second child.
Drawing attention to corruption in AIDS programs, Senator Vitter of Louisiana is proposing an amendment that would set up a U.S. Inspector General for the Global Fund and require the agency to provide a transparency certificate affirming that it is using American taxpayer dollars effectively and efficiently.
Currently, he says, the U.S. has no way to independently verify how U.S. funds to the Global Fund are spent.
The Global fund has its own Inspector General, and he has already uncovered corruption in the agency. John Donnelly of the Boston Globe, who blew the whistle on how the U.N. has greatly exaggerated the number of AIDS cases around the world, has reported that the Global Fund’s former Executive Director Richard G. A. Feachem was found to have made extensive use of a little-known private bank account, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on limousines, expensive meals, boat cruises, and other expenses.
A U.S. Inspector General for the Global Fund could subject the organization to far more scrutiny.
“I still believe this legislation goes way beyond the original scope of the president’s first global AIDS bill, and, worse, there appear to be many troubling policies woven into it that a small, committed group of senators have tried to fight,” said Vitter. “At the very least, I hope that my amendment, which would set up a U.S. Inspector General for the Global Fund, will be included. Since $10 billion of our taxpayer dollars will be going to the fund over the next five years, I believe the American people deserve to know what that money is being used for and whether it is being used effectively. The International Global Fund has a long record of waste and corruption and a short one for accountability. We need much greater oversight, and my amendment will help provide that.”
Not surprisingly, homosexual groups have been strong supporters of the bill, in particular the provision lifting the ban on AIDS-infected aliens. The main group pushing for the entry into the U.S. of those infected with HIV/AIDS is Immigration Equality, which receives funds from the Open Society Institute of George Soros, the Ford Foundation, and other liberal and left-wing donors.
The pressure is so intense that Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council was forced to apologize for saying during an interview that he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to American society.” These remarks were deemed objectionable by the homosexual rights lobby.
On the other hand, the Immigration Equality organization recently gave one of its “Safe Haven” awards to Andrew Sullivan, an HIV-positive homosexual journalist in the U.S. who was born and raised in England and insisted that HIV “improved my sex life.” Sullivan, a popular figure in the liberal media, is advertised as a “gay conservative” but was exposed for soliciting so-called “bareback” or unprotected anal sex on the Internet.
On his Daily Dish blog, Sullivan rails against the “HIV travel ban” and lists some of the organizations lobbying for the entry into the U.S. of untold numbers of AIDS-infected aliens. They include the ACLU and the Open Society Policy Center, another Soros front organization.
It seems clear that at least some of these aliens could function as new sexual partners for those demanding their entry, increasing the number of AIDS cases in the U.S.