February 8, 2023

Young, Menendez Reintroduce End Tuberculosis Now Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, re-introduced the End Tuberculosis Now Act, comprehensive bipartisan legislation to make the elimination of tuberculosis (TB) a foreign assistance priority for the United States. By improving U.S. and international coordination and prioritization of research and diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, the bipartisan legislation critically advances and modernizes U.S. engagement in the global fight to end TB worldwide by 2035.

“Tuberculosis (TB) is a preventable, treatable, and curable disease. More than 25 years after it was declared a public health emergency, TB still remains one of the deadliest infectious health threats, and goes undiagnosed in many countries. We must demonstrate U.S. leadership by finally passing our End Tuberculosis Now Act to find and treat TB, reduce the stigma, and better target this curable disease,” said Senator Young.

“Though it is entirely preventable, treatable, and curable, tuberculosis is among our world’s most lethal infectious diseases, disproportionately impacting children and other vulnerable populations in New Jersey and around the globe. By again introducing the End Tuberculosis Now Act, we not only signal our enduring commitment to affected communities everywhere, but to our international partners as we seek to eliminate tuberculosis in our lifetimes. I look forward to working with my colleagues to secure passage of our critical bipartisan legislation, and to affirming U.S. leadership in the fight against this disease,” said Senator Menendez.

Previously introduced in both the 117th Congress and 116th Congress, the End Tuberculosis Now Act was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in December of 2022 with broad bipartisan support. In addition to mandating that the U.S. update its strategies to address tuberculosis with innovative diagnostics, therapies and vaccines, and to better align with the World Health Organization (WHO) End TB Strategy, the legislation calls for more robust coordination with the Stop TB Partnership and the Global Fund, and among U.S. agencies providing bilateral tuberculosis assistance. The legislation also requires annual reports to Congress about tuberculosis-related foreign assistance and the development of new technologies, in addition to regular evaluations by the Government Accountability Office.

“COVID-19 has caused a severe backslide in efforts to tackle tuberculosis, which is quickly again becoming the deadliest infectious disease on earth. Strengthening TB programs globally can not only save millions of lives, but also create an airborne infectious disease response platform critical for addressing pandemics now and in the future. The End TB Now Act takes vital steps to reverse the alarming rise in TB cases and deaths by expanding quality diagnosis, treatment and prevention, catalyzing R&D for new, affordable tools, and improving community detection of respiratory infections. We thank Senators Menendez and Young for their strong leadership on End TB Now. As a network of grassroots advocates, RESULTS and our partners will work to ensure enactment of this critical legislation that can help end this disease that compounds the harmful effects of poverty.” – Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS

“We at Treatment Action Group welcome Senators Menendez and Young’s bipartisan leadership on efforts to end TB globally. With TB on the rise, a robust and well-resourced global response is key to making sure communities affected by TB get the best available diagnostics, prevention, and cures. We are ready to support these House and Senate leaders as they push the End TB Now Act over the finish line.” – Mark Harrington, Executive Director, Treatment Action Group

“As people personally affected by tuberculosis, We Are TB would like to share our most heartfelt appreciation for the leadership of our Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Todd Young (R-IN) on the introduction of the End TB Now Act. The preventable suffering and grief our families and communities endure from a curable illness is a true injustice, and we welcome the support of this wonderful legislation. The End TB Now Act will ensure that TB programs around the world can give everyone facing tuberculosis the excellent care they deserve.” – Kate O’Brien, We Are TB, Co-Chair of Tuberculosis Roundtable

Click here for the full legislative text.