A group of activists reportedly “stormed” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office on Monday, “demanding he reauthorize PEPFAR, the HIV/AIDS relief program,” Daily Mail reports.

“Pass PEPFAR now McCarthy,” the activists shouted.


The protestors were later arrested by U.S. Capitol Police.

Daily Mail reports:

The seven protesters, some wearing t-shirts that read HIV-positive and waving signs calling to ‘end AIDS,’ were handcuffed and taken away.

It’s unlikely McCarthy was in that office as he usually works out of the Capitol building but his staff didn’t immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiry. Monday marks the day House members are returning to Washington D.C. after their summer break.

PEPFAR, a widely-praised global program started by President George W. Bush, has become caught up in the fight over abortion. It faces a September 30th deadline to be reauthorized.

PEPFAR, also known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, fights AIDS and HIV and the virus that causes it in areas throughout the developing world. It provides funding for prevention, treatment and medication.

“Are they going to be charged with seditious conspiracy and face 22 years in prison for their actions? Or will we see a two tiered justice system play out again?” investigative journalist Laura Loomer questioned.

The Washington Examiner has more:

The PEPFAR renewal is just one of several items on the House agenda over the next three weeks as lawmakers seek to pass its budget ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline as well as come to an agreement on other spending legislation such as the National Defense Authorization Act and the Federal Aviation Authorization reauthorization.

Congress must pass its annual budget before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, or else lawmakers risk a government shutdown. Budget disagreements are typical as both parties fight over spending priorities, with a final deal often not being made until the eleventh hour after a marathon voting session.

Lawmakers must advance 12 individual appropriations bills in each chamber before sending their final product to the president’s desk for approval, setting the stage for an arduous process as House Republicans and Senate Democrats disagree on spending numbers. In recent years, Congress has been able to circumvent dragged-out voting sessions by combining the bill into just one piece of legislation, known as an omnibus, allowing Congress to advance its entire budget with just one vote.

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