WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush signed legislation Wednesday that triples U.S. funding to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis around the world.Yes indeed, it seems that throwing some more spending on the national MasterCard™ unites our supervisors across those nasty old "party lines."
The five-year, $48 billion plan renews a program credited with saving millions of lives in Africa alone and is widely seen as one of the major achievements of the Bush presidency.
Bush said the program, launched by him in 2003, "is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in human history."
The president signed the bill in the ornate East Room of the White House, surrounded by lawmakers and people affected by AIDS whom he met on his February trip to Africa.
The legislation is a rare case of relatively easy cooperation between the Democratic-controlled Congress and the White House. It passed the House last week by a 303-115 vote and the Senate earlier in the month by a vote of 80-16.
It renews Bush's original five-year, $15 billion program called the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which was set to expire in September.
Some GOP conservatives questioned the new plan's sharp spending increase. But most on both sides of the aisle, and in groups that advocate both health initiatives and Africa, praised the U.S. aid for boosting America's reputation abroad.
Or maybe there's really only one party? Ya think?