A New York Times (nytimes.com, 6/21) editorial published on June 21 criticizes the seven Republican senators—led by Tom Coburn of Oklahoma—who are delaying passage of a bill that would reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

“If their delaying tactics succeed, the United States will lose considerable leverage in trying to persuade other advanced nations to contribute substantially more money to fight against global disease at the upcoming meeting of the Group of 8 industrial nations,” the editorial says. “That will undermine the Bush administration’s leadership in combating the global scourge of AIDS.” The G-8 summit will be held in July.

According to the piece, Coburn and other PEPFAR critics deem the $50 billion reauthorization of the plan over the next five years irresponsible. They are fighting to preserve a previous stipulation that required 55 percent of AIDS funding to be spent on treatment as opposed to prevention—which would include condom distribution and circumcision—and other services.