Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obscene: Dole tries to name AIDS bill after Helms

Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) yesterday introduced an amendment that would have added the name of Jesse Helms to the title of the HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria bill that is before the Senate. Helms, who died eleven days ago, was the nation's most vociferous foe of federal funding for HIV/AIDS programs from the epidemic's beginning until he left the Senate.

The name of the Act proposed in S. 2731 is "Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008". The Act would be named after former Reps. Tom Lantos (D-CA-12) and Henry Hyde (R-IL-06), who worked together in their last years in Congress to achieve bipartisan support for federal funding for the fight against these diseases. Sen. Dole apparently thought the title was missing something. From the Congressional Record:

SA 5074. Mrs. DOLE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 2731, to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

On page 1, line 5, strike "and Henry J. Hyde" and insert ", Henry J. Hyde, and Jesse Helms".

Recall that Helms said that gays caused the AIDS epidemic and victimized Ryan White, threaten the survival of the American family, are in a battle against American values, and have the ultimate aim of having the American people accept "their perverted lifestyle". Find more Helms-isms here and here.

Dole can be given feedback about her amendment here. She is in a tough race for re-election against Democrat Kay Hagan.


Anonymous said...

Liddy has been inhaling the hair spray again!!

Anonymous said...

I think Republicans can appreciate irony as well. Just look at the Vitter-Craig sponsored 'family values' bill!

James of England said...

Just so you know, Helms did end his senate career pushing for more money to be spent on combatting AIDS. After leaving the Senate, he spoke about it frequently, and was one of the big movers behind Bush's record breaking spending on AIDS prevention. Obviously, all sorts of people have all sorts of problems with this, but it's not quite so crazy to have his name attached to a cause he fought for as it might sound. Some news clippings of his conversion might help.

Again, this isn't to say that he's a good guy, but if people are reading this and assuming that it's an insult, then I'd like to think that the fact that Sen. Dole almost certainly meant it as a genuine tribute to Sen. Helms' interest in preventing and treating AIDS would reduce the pain of what might appear to be open homophobia (not that Dole isn't homophobic, but this amendment wasn't likely an expression of that).

@jilevin said...

Elizabeth Dole was the cause of spreading AIDs to more individuals than any signle person. Remember her tenure as head of the American Red Cross when she didn't adequately test blood used for creating clouting factor for hemophiliacs?

Queers United said...

sen dole is disgusting for proposing this

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