Washington D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee hearing on the unique challenges women face in global health. 

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-Remarks as Delivered-

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman for holding this important hearing. I’d like to thank my colleagues for being here today. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and I came into Congress together and Congresswoman Nita Lowey is a dear friend and a real leader in Congress. The United States is the largest donor to global health programs by far.  We have a long  history of supporting efforts to improve health outcomes of people all over the world, from providing life-saving treatment to building the capacity of health systems. The U.S. has also been a global leader in funding programs that support women and girls around the world. And as a father of four young women I recognize the importance of empowering women and girls to succeed, and that starts with access to health resources and education.

“Through our contributions to multilateral programs like the Global Fund, that the Chairman and I got fully funded when some tried to cut it. The United States has been a global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDs, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases that disproportionately impact the world’s most vulnerable populations. This is largely thanks to the visionary leadership of President George W. Bush. Bilateral global health programs, as well as broader initiatives like PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, have saved tens of millions of lives around the world.

“Last year, I had the honor to meet with with the President of Botswana. He told me that thanks to the PEPFAR program, the U.S. saved a generation of Botswanans from extinction. Very profound. We can, and should, be proud of America’s continued leadership on these issues. That is why I was proud to sponsor House Resolution 517 alongside Chairman Engel, which reaffirmed United States support for the Global Fund.

“We were successful in this effort; the year-end spending package included $1.56 billion for the Global Fund, and substantial increases in assistance for maternal and child health and nutrition, among other programs. In September of last year, the Bush Foundation and Ambassador Birx announced that the Go Further partnership to end AIDS and cervical cancer had reached over half a million women living with HIV to provide cervical cancer screenings.This is a fantastic example of how innovative public-private partnerships can build on successful U.S. Government programs to reach even more women and girls with expanded services.

“Like the Go Further partnership, there is a unique opportunity to build on the success of U.S. global health programs and address other health challenges like childhood cancer. Last week, along with the Chairman, the House unanimously passed the Global Hope Act. I want to thank Chairman Engel for his support of this effort. This legislation supports efforts to reduce childhood cancer rates in developing countries by facilitating similar public-private partnerships between the federal government, the private sector, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

“The mortality rate for children diagnosed with cancer in developing nations is 80 percent. Tragically, this matches the survival rate in the United States. Where you’re born shouldn’t determine whether you receive this critical care. By working together to address the resource gaps that exist and leveraging private sector expertise on the unique challenges that these horrific diseases pose, I think we can dramatically reduce childhood cancer mortality.

“We must ensure that every child, no matter where they are born, has access to the care and treatment that they need. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to see the Global Hope Act signed into law. The Global Hope Act has the potential to save many children’s lives and I can’t think of anything more profound we can do in Congress than to pass a bill that turns into saving lives.”