I thank members of Congress from both sides of the aisle for working with my administration to pass this important bill, and I will be honored to sign it into law next week," Bush said in his weekly radio address.
The program is dedicated to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria around the globe, helping more than 33 million people to date since Bush expanded it the first time.
Back in February, Representative Scott Garrett had this to say about the bill expanding the program to $48 billion:
I hope the Democrats are happy with themselves, because this is just down-right disgusting.
Notice, Garrett only blames Democrats for what the President said was a bi-partisan effort? Granted, his piece was written back in February, but Republicans were working on it then as well.
Garrett's opposition was grounded in opposition to the mythical availability of abortions through the program; as well as his opposition to the very real need to include the availability of condoms as another tool to stem the spread of AIDS. The current version of the bill also requires reports to Congress if spending on abstinence and fidelity education fall beyond certain levels.
I said then this would become a campaign issue, and those running Dennis Shulman's new blog didn't miss Garrett's vote against the program:
However, when it comes to worthwhile Bush Administration initiatives to combat fatal diseases in Third-World countries, he takes a heartless and short-sighted approach.
I'm not sure Shulman's intern even knew the extent of Garrett's opposition.
I've got to believe there will be a 527 somewhere that comes out with something targeting the 115 members of the House that don't understand the practical, moral, and soft power implications of this program on the future. Who knows, maybe the Shulman campaign can get Bono or Matt Damon to do an ad explaining why Garrett's stand is as horrendous as it is.