09.26.06

Burr calls on Senate to Consider Bi-partisan Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization

Urges opponents of bill to allow for debate, vote

WASHINGTON, DC --- Today Senator Burr called on the Senate to take up the Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization. In a procedural move this afternoon, opponents of the legislation prevented the full Senate from considering and voting on the Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization.



"The inability to bring up this legislation in the Senate means we can't even debate this bill. People with HIV/AIDS are depending on us. We need to change this unfair funding formula," Burr said.



The Ryan White CARE Act was initiated in 1990 to provide treatment and care for individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS who are in the greatest need of assistance. The legislation must be reauthorized every five years. The Reauthorization legislation would provide more equitable distribution of CARE Act funds to emerging HIV/AIDS populations. Currently, Southern states, which account for a majority of HIV/AIDS cases in the nation, are being shortchanged in CARE Act funding.



"The Ryan White CARE Act exists to protect and support those living with HIV/AIDS. In North Carolina there are over 18,000 residents living with this disease and yet they cannot get the medications and treatments they need because the state does not receive adequate Ryan White funding. These funds must be distributed more evenly so all patients, not just those living in New York, San Francisco, and Boston, can receive the care they need," Burr said.



U.S. Senator Richard Burr spoke on the Senate floor about the merits of the bipartisan legislation and urged that the legislation be called up for debate and a vote. Opponents objected and blocked the legislation. In June, the Senate HELP Committee passed the legislation out of committee with only one dissenting vote.