The U.S. House of Representatives voted July 24 to triple spending to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world during the next five years, The Associated Press/The New York Times reports (, 7/25). The reauthorized $48 billion President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) passed with a vote of 303 to 115. The bill passed in the Senate on July 16 and now goes to President Bush for his signature.

According to the article, PEPFAR is one of the few initiatives to gain unilateral support from both the White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress. Passage of the bill was “born out of a willingness to work together and put the United States on the right side of history when it comes to this global pandemic,” says Rep. Barbara Lee (D–CA).

Bush’s original $15 billion five-year plan—which expires in September—has provided HIV medications to 1.7 million people in the developing world and has supported care for nearly 7 million.