Tuberculosis (TB) is the top infectious disease killer in world. Each year about 9 million people develop active TB and the disease is projected to kill 30 million people in the next decade.

Another gruesome statistic is that it accounts for more than one quarter of all preventable adult deaths in the world. What we find is that many people who have HIV also have tuberculosis, and many of them die from tuberculosis not from HIV/AIDS.

The reason we're targeting it now is that there has been a super-strain of tuberculosis, called “XDR-TB,

The shame of this disease is that we have the knowledge to eradicate tuberculosis, we just haven't put our money where our mouth is. Unlike HIV/AIDS, which we know how to prevent and we know how to prevent from spreading -- we have the medications to curtail but not cure it -- with tuberculosis, we have the knowledge to cure it. That's what makes it a real shame -- that it's not having the money or the resolve.

What the bill does is provide money to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It gives those two organizations the resources, the money, and the authority to increase U.S. support for international tuberculosis control activities.

The strain of tuberculosis that I mentioned, the XDR-TB, is really a man-made problem, because people aren't getting medications or aren’t taking their medications properly, and if we had more resources we'd be able to wipe it out.

This bill is a very big milestone towards eradicating tuberculosis, and I think Congress did itself proud today by passing the bill.