Who’s holding up the Global AIDS bill?

My email today included an alert from the ELCA Advocacy center urging phone calls to our senators to unblock the Global AIDS bill.   I confess, I was not up to speed, so I hunted Google news and read that it is currently being stalled by “seven socially conservative senators” who are worried about what kinds of programs the money will be spent on.  They don’t want to spend money on prevention if that means encouraging people to use condoms.

No surprises, there.  But one of the Seven Socially Conservative Senators is — ready? — Louisiana Republican David Vitter, staunch defender of Family Values and occasional patron of call girls.  OK, semi-habitual patron of call girls.  As an amusing aside, I must note that Vitter is also defending marriage and Family Values by co-sponsoring an anti-gay marriage amendment with… (if you have liquid in your mouth, swallow now)(seriously) — Idaho Senator Larry “I have a wide stance” Craig.  What is with these conservatives?  Do they swear a Hypocritic Oath on taking office?

But I digress.  Now that you know what Vitter is up to, please call your senator (even if it’s one of the Seven Socially Conservative ones).  Here’s what the ELCA alert advises:

Take action today! Call your Senators and urge their support of the S. 2731, the Global AIDS Reauthorization Act of 2008.

Step 1: Call the Capitol switchboard at 202. 224. 3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. (If you don’t know who your Senators are, you can look them up at http://www.senate.gov)

Step 2: The receptionist will answer. Introduce yourself as (your name) a constituent from (city, state).

Here is a helpful script:

“I am calling today to urge Senator________ to support immediate Senate consideration of S. 2731, the 2008 Global AIDS reauthorization bill. Our Government’s effort to fight deadly disease in the world through PEPFAR is saving lives and is helping to restore America’s image throughout the world. I urge Senator ___________ to support the $50 billion reauthorization of the Global AIDS bill. Do you know the Senator’s position on this bill?”

Request a written response from the Senator on his/her position on the bill. Be sure to leave your full name and address with the receptionist and thank him or her when you are finished.

Step 3: Let us know how the call went. E-mail kim.stietz@elca.org with an update so that we can follow up with your Senator’s staff in Washington if necessary.

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