1:34 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on H.R. 3057, and that I may include tabular material on the same.

1:35 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I am very pleased to present to the House H.R. 3057, the fiscal year 2006 appropriations bill for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs. This bill provides important funding for programs that support the global war on terror, the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and the national interests of the United States.

The bill includes a total of $20.3 billion in new budget authority for fiscal year 2006. This represents a reduction of $2.6 billion, or 11 percent, from the President's budget request. The bill is $533 million above the fiscal year 2005-enacted level, not including the most recent supplemental appropriations of 2005. With all of the supplemental appropriations of last year included, the recommendation represents a decrease of $2 billion from the 2005 level.

As to whether this amount is considered adequate, I quote from two headlines in Associated Press articles that appeared after the subcommittee markup of June 14. The first reads: ``Lawmakers Propose U.S. Foreign Aid Boost,'' and less than an hour later the headline reads: ``GOP-Led Panel Slashes Foreign Aid Program.'' Those were headlines an hour apart. So Members can lend their support to this bill because it increases foreign aid, or they can oppose it because it slashes foreign aid, or they

can do either way with either one of those ideas.

It is important to state at the outset that the bill was developed in a bipartisan manner. I give enormous credit to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), my ranking minority member, for engaging in a process that resulted in agreement on the basic components of this package, even if funding compromises had to be found on both sides.

We have made a focus of this year's proposal greater oversight of the expenditure of taxpayers' dollars. The report accompanying this bill includes language that requires more accountability of our foreign assistance dollars by urging the Department to set transparent goals and in tangible ways that measure progress toward these goals. Results, rather than resource levels, should be the yardstick for measuring U.S. assistance programs.

Furthermore, this bill and report include many requirements for the submission of financial plans, limiting expenditures until certain reforms are [Page: H5282]

implemented, and continuation of congressional notification requirements prior to the obligation or expenditure of funds.

With that, let me turn to some of the highlights of the bill.

First, the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The administration requests $3 billion for MCC. That would have doubled our $1.5 billion appropriation last year. We are funding it at $1.75 billion, or an increase of $250 million, 17 percent, over 2005, but $1.25 billion less than the President asked for.

As chairman of the subcommittee, I have made the MCC a priority in this bill. I believe in the President's vision for a new form of development assistance, where a country's commitment to fighting corruption, its commitment to reform, its commitment to investing in its people is complemented by an assistance package from the United States, negotiated by the country in the form of a signed compact.

On the Global Environmental Facility, the budget included a $107 million request for the GEF, up from $106 million last year. Our bill has no appropriation for GEF. As part of this multilateral agreement with donors in 2002, the GEF agreed to establish a performance-based allocation system for the disbursement of funds. Despite this agreement, GEF has resisted attempts to establish this performance-based allocation system, and I think our reduction, not including any funds for this, sends a clear

message about the imperative of reform to GEF.

On Afghanistan, the budget included a $430 million request for Economic Support Funds, ESF, for Afghanistan, an increase of $205 million over the 2005 level. It also included a request for $260 million for International Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement, an increase of $170 million over the 2005 level. This bill fully funds the $430 million in ESF and $211 million in INCLE for police and counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan. The bill also limits expenditures of about half of the ESF funds,

or $225 million, until the Secretary of State certifies to the committee that the government of Afghanistan, at both the national and the local level, is fully cooperating with the United States-funded narcotics eradication and interdiction efforts.

On the West Bank and Gaza, the budget included a $150 million request in ESF for the West Bank. The bill funds the request and retains the fiscal year 2005 prohibitions and restrictions on the expenditure of these funds, including a GAO audit of U.S. assistance. Neither the request nor the bill includes any direct budgetary support of the Palestinian Authority.

On the Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, the bill includes $2.695 billion for the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the third year of this effort. This funding level is $131 million over the President's request and $502 million over the fiscal year 2005 level. The bill includes not less than $400 million, twice the amount requested by the President, for a U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mr. Chairman, no one in this body, no one in this country, should

doubt the commitment of this Congress to fighting the global AIDS battle.

Anti-corruption provisions. Following through on strengthening our oversight role, the bill includes a new anti-corruption measure, a provision that withholds 25 percent of the funds made available for the U.S. contribution to the World Bank's International Development Association, or IDA, until the Secretary of the Treasury certifies that the World Bank has incorporated certain procurement guidelines, withdraws its proposals concerning increasing the use of country systems procurement, establishes

a threshold for competitive bidding and, subjects competitive bidding provisions to public advertisement.

On Iraq, the budget included a request for a total of $485 million for Iraq. Our bill includes no new appropriation for this request. We are not slighting Iraq. Instead, we assume these requirements can be financed from the nearly $5 billion that remains in unobligated funds previously appropriated in the November 2003 Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund in the emergency supplemental bill.

On the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, or ACI, the bill fully funds the budget of $734 million for the multiyear Andean Counterdrug Initiative, ACI. That is an increase of $9.3 million over the current fiscal year. The United States leads the international fight against coca and poppy cultivation overseas. The narcotics industry has become a source of funding for terrorists, especially in countries like Colombia and Afghanistan. As part of the war on terror, the bill funds the President's counterdrug

initiatives for eradication, narcotics interdiction and alternative livelihood programs.

On the Conflict Response Fund, the bill does not include the administration's request for $100 million for a Conflict Response Fund, but it does have a new provision that allows the Secretary of State to reprogram and transfer funds as necessary for the purposes identified for the fund; and in other legislation, funds for the administration of that office and that program are included.

On Sudan, the bill includes $391 million, as requested, for assistance to Sudan, including $69 million for the terrible tragedy occurring in the western part of that country known as Darfur; but the assistance may only be given to the coalition government if it is in direct support of the comprehensive peace agreement with the southern part of Sudan. Development assistance to the government in the south and our humanitarian assistance in Darfur will continue unabated.

In preparing this bill, we were also faced with decreases in some areas of the budget, including for some key non-HIV/AIDS health programs and in the development assistance account. We have restored most of those reductions, and in the case of development assistance, added funds for basic education. I believe our development assistance program is a key component of our national security strategy and is critical to a positive U.S. image in foreign countries.

Basic education has become a signature issue for my ranking minority member, and I salute her for her commitment to this; but I will leave it to her to describe the details of our recommendation in this regard. Suffice it to say that I fully support her efforts to provide more educational opportunities to the impoverished youth of the world, especially women and girls.

[Time: 13:45]

This bill recommends $465 million for basic education activities, and that is an increase of $65 million over the amount provided last year.

The bill also fully supports USAID's work to support the microenterprise lending. Report language accompanying the bill expresses the committee's expectation that USAID programs reach the largest possible number of microenterprises and recommends $200 million for this program.

We continue an emphasis in this bill on helping developing countries build their capacity to participate in the international trading system. We have $214 million for trade capacity building efforts, an increase of $15 million over last year. Of this amount, $40 million is made available for labor and environmental capacity building activities related to the free trade agreement with the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic.

The bill fully funds the export finance agencies to promote U.S. investment overseas and create jobs in the United States' export sectors. The committee bill provides $311 million for these agencies, including the Eximbank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency, and $275 million of that is offset by collections.

The bill provides $791 million for migration and refugee assistance programs, continuing the United States' leadership in the world for providing humanitarian responses to refugee crises. This amount is $27 million over the 2005 level but $102 million less than the request.

Finally, the bill mostly restores the large proposed reduction to the child survival and health program, providing $1.5 billion for these programs, an increase of $246 million over the President's request.

We have had to reduce sums by almost $2.6 billion from the President's request to meet our allocation for this bill. Therefore, we could not provide funding for a number of new and expanded initiatives, though requested by the President or brought to this committee's attention by committee members and other Members of Congress and outside groups. [Page: H5283]

The major reductions to the President's budget includes a cut of $1.25 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which I have already spoken of, $458 million from various programs in Iraq, and $300 million from the President's proposed local food purchases. This latter recognizes the decision to maintain U.S. food purchases through the PL-480 program funded in the agricultural appropriations bill. And, finally, the $100 million I spoke of from the President's proposed conflict are a transfer

of funds instead of a new appropriation.

I believe this is a balanced bill, one that provides important support for our most critical national security needs while substantially increasing funding to respond to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. It also embraces our support for overseas development assistance and humanitarian assistance activities. It meets the high priority needs of the President in these areas and accommodates congressional concerns as well.

As I said, this bill was developed in a bipartisan manner and it should have the bipartisan support of this House. So, Mr. Chairman, I urge a ``yes'' vote on this important legislation.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:48 PM EDT

Nita Lowey, D-NY 18th

Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 3057, the fiscal year 2006 foreign operations appropriations bill, and I want to thank the chairman of our subcommittee, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) for his hard work in putting together this bill. The good working relationship we share is evident in the product we present to the House today.

The President's fiscal year 2006 request, when compared with the subcommittee's 302(b) allocation, presented us with an array of difficult choices. Our allocation is a full $2.55 billion below the request level, and into this reduced allocation we had to fit increases in administration priorities, such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the President's emergency plan for AIDS relief.

While I do believe that the bill reflects, for the most part, a bipartisan compromise on the distribution of resources, I feel that this allocation fails to meet our overall foreign policy and national security needs at a time when the world is facing greater instability due to disease, deprivation and conflict.

The world's attention is focused on the upcoming G-8 Summit, in which wealthy nations will announce new commitments to achieve development progress. It is in this context that we must consider the bill before us today. We must ask if it is sufficient to lead the community of developed nations in creating a new compact for global development; if it will make the United States the standard bearer in a renewed effort to lift the least fortunate among us out of poverty; if it represents the commitment

we must make to achieving the good governance and adequate financial resources to address the world's challenges.

My colleagues, we did the best we could with what we had, and I commend the chairman for that, but it is not enough. We are missing an opportunity today to demonstrate that the United States understands not just the need but the urgency of beating back the AIDS pandemic, getting children in school, encouraging reformers and oppressive societies, an opportunity to show that we understand business as usual simply will not do the job and that we are willing to take dramatic steps to bring the rest

of the world on board.

This bill will do a great deal of good for a lot of people. It will address many of the challenges around the world that most directly affect U.S. national security, but it is not the bold statement that we all know it could be. Nevertheless, I generally agree with my chairman on the spending levels recommended within the reduced allocation. We worked closely together to ensure that in the face of these devastating cuts, we at least level-funded child survival and health and development assistance

priorities.

We provided an increase over the President's request for HIV/AIDS, doubling his request for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. Although I wish we could have done more for the Global Fund, I believe we are doing the best we can with the resources we have. We provided $465 million for basic education. We continued the U.S. reconstruction program in Afghanistan, and we fully funded our commitments in the Middle East, a powerful statement at such a critical time in the peace process.

The message we have sent with this bill is clear: In contrast with the President's request, Congress will not increase funding for MCC and PEPFAR on the backs of our core development accounts.

I am pleased that we were also able to restore deep cuts the President requested in reproductive health programs. This bill provides $432 million of bilateral funding, the fiscal year 2005 House-passed level, and earmarks an additional $25 million in International Organizations and Program funds for the United Nations Population Fund. The bill further specifies that any funds for the UNFPA that cannot be spent should be transferred to USAID specifically for bilateral family planning programs,

a provision we carried in the fiscal year 2004 bill as well.

As I said, I am also pleased that this bill provides a total of $465 million for basic education, $65 million more than the fiscal year 2005 level. And, once again, we provide $15 million for a pilot program to eliminate school fees and, for the first time, require a GAO study on our education programs to ensure that we maximize the effectiveness of our aid dollars.

This bill fully funds Israel's annual economic and military aid package, including early disbursal of these funds within 30 days of the bill's passage. It also includes language carried in previous years, placing conditions on U.S. support for any future Palestinian state. This year, the bill includes an additional provision requiring a GAO audit of the fiscal year 2006 West Bank and Gaza program, as well as a project-by-project plan from the State Department on how these funds are being spent.

And it extends a reporting requirement included in the fiscal year 2005 supplemental on the Palestinians' progress in reforming their security services, dismantling terrorist groups, and ending incitement against Israel. I agree with the chairman that these provisions are critical to monitoring the results we achieve as well as the money we disburse.

I am proud that the bill and report carry a number of provisions aimed at increasing the U.S. commitment to fighting gender-based violence around the world, including in areas with high HIV infection rates and in areas undergoing conflict and civil strife. I want to thank the chairman for including a provision requiring police, judicial, and military training programs funded in the bill to develop training curricula on how to prevent and deal with victims of gender-based violence. And I am pleased

that we were able to increase funding for UNIFEM and the UNIFEM Trust Fund to a total of $5 million.

I want to point out a few specific concerns, however, I have with the bill. First, it provides no funding to the Global Environmental Facility, GEF. The GEF is the largest single funder of projects to improve the global environment, and every dollar invested by the U.S. in the GEF leverages $14 from other sources.

I do understand why the chairman has proposed this cut. The GEF has dragged its feet in implementing a performance-based allocation system. And while I agree with the chairman's desire to send a message that we are serious about reform, I do believe cutting funding is not the right way to accomplish this. I hope we will have the opportunity to restore funding to the GEF as this bill moves to the Senate and through conference.

I am also concerned that the bill places no conditionality whatsoever on U.S. military assistance to Indonesia and international military education and training for Guatemala. For the first time since Indonesian military-backed militias laid waste to East Timor in the wake of its August 1999 independence referendum, we will provide FMF to Indonesia free of any conditions. And despite the Guatemalan government's noncompliance with military reform stipulated in the Peace Accords, we have removed

IMET restrictions on that country as well.

I regret that we were not able to fully fund the President's request for [Page: H5284]

refugees and peacekeeping. The reduced allocation simply made it impossible. I am pleased that we were able to provide additional funding

as part of the fiscal year 2005 supplemental, and I am optimistic we can increase funding for these accounts in conference.

Let me also say that even though this bill provides no funding for Iraq reconstruction, I take seriously the role this committee plays in exercising oversight over this effort. Reports of wasted money and poor accounting for taxpayer funds are certainly alarming. Congress, and particularly this subcommittee, has a responsibility to ensure that these funds are used properly and efficiently, and the chairman and I will continue to make this a priority.

Finally, I would like to point out that the Senate's allocation for foreign operations is a full $1.6 billion above the House. It is my hope that this allocation will enable us to significantly increase funding for a number of critical priorities in the final conference measure.

I want to thank the chairman once again for being such a good partner in the process. I particularly want to thank him and wish him a very happy birthday from all of us. With few exceptions, I believe we have put together a good bill within the context of our difficult allocation.

I appreciate the gentleman's help and the work of the staff, Nisha, Betsy, Alice, Rodney, Rob, Lori, Sean, and Beth, in bringing this bill to the floor and I urge my colleagues to support it.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:58 PM EDT

Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentleman from Arizona yielding to me for the purposes of a colloquy on an issue of report language that accompanies H.R. 3057, the foreign ops appropriation bill, and for his willingness to work with me through conference on this report language.

Mr. Chairman, report language appears for a reason. It is meant to send a strong message to Federal agencies; in this case, the Export-Import Bank. I am greatly concerned about the message this report language sends. I am worried it has the appearance of trying to encourage the approval of a loan that does not meet the statutory requirements.

Before a loan should be brought before the board for a vote, it must meet the congressionally-mandated test for export additionality, foreign competition, and net benefit to the U.S. economy. If we want to consider changes to the statutory requirements, those changes should be addressed during the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank that is scheduled to occur next year.

I look forward to working with the chairman and the Senate in conference regarding the committee's intent of any report language addressing this issue.

[Time: 14:00]

1:59 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I want to say to the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson) that I sympathize with his statement. He makes his case with passion and knowledge. I want to clarify my intent with respect to the language in the committee report referring to applications from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

The report language urged the Export-Import Bank to act promptly on requests for assistance. It also asked for the bank to report on the status of pending applications.

The report further noted the committee's request for ``an explanation for any rejection of any requests for assistance, specifically applications affecting the semiconductor industry.'' This sentence could be misconstrued as prejudicing or prejudging possible applications for bank assistance.

Let me be clear. It was not and is not my intention to prejudice or prejudge the outcome of any pending application at the bank. This language is not intended to influence in any way any matter that is pending before the bank or reflect negatively on any decision made by the chairman or any other board member regarding any pending or past matter.

Loans brought before the bank must meet the bank's criteria for export additionality, foreign competition, and net benefit for the American economy. The Export-Import Bank has five full-time board members whose job it is to assess whether applications meet the bank's criteria for export additionality, foreign competition, and net benefit to the U.S. economy.

They are the ones who should make the judgments about which transactions the bank will support and those it would turn down. The committee report language in no way is intended to influence those judgments. I understand the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson) still has some concerns with the language, and I will be happy to work with the gentleman and the Senate in conference regarding the committee's intent.

2:01 PM EDT

Joseph Knollenberg, R-MI 9th

Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this bill, the fiscal year 2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act.

Let me begin by commending the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) for his work as chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs. Every year he puts a great deal of effort into examining the issues thoroughly and giving sincere consideration to Members' requests. Thanks to his efforts, we have before us today an excellent bill.

I also commend the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), the ranking member. She and I have worked together on a number of issues over the years, and together we have achieved some important results.

I also want to thank all of the staff for their hard work and the research they have done over the weeks and months to address the many issues in this bill. Their organization and discipline has made this year's process move more smoothly.

As Members of Congress, we have a responsibility to exercise our oversight to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent as effectively as possible. Oversight has been a primary focus of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations this year, and there are important provisions in this bill to help make our foreign assistance programs more accountable.

This bill requires the administration and international organizations to set transparent goals and measure progress towards these goals in tangible ways. The bill also limits spending until certain reforms are implemented. Because of this oversight, the committee has been able to produce a bill that is $2.5 billion below the administration's request and still focuses on the important priorities.

Assistance to the Middle East is always a central part of this bill. For fiscal year 2006, Israel will receive $2.28 billion in military assistance, $240 million in economic assistance, and $40 million to help resettle Jewish refugees in Israel. I strongly support all of this funding.

I am also pleased that the bill provides $40 million for assistance to Lebanon, which is an increase of $5 million from last year. With Syria's military withdrawal from Lebanon and the recent elections, there is an opportunity for positive change. This extra funding will give the State Department and USAID some flexibility to take advantage of this opportunity.

There are also a variety of important programs in the bill that provide support to reform efforts within the countries of the broader Middle East, including $85 million for the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

Regarding Armenia, the bill provides $67.5 million in economic assistance. Unfortunately, Turkey and Azerbaijan continue to seal the transportation routes into and out of Armenia, so this funding is important to offset this economic blockade.

The bill also maintains parity in military assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is critical to our overall policy toward the South Caucasus.

There are other valuable programs in this bill, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation and funding to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

But in addition to what this bill does include, what is equally important is what this bill does not include.

Specifically, this bill does not include any funding for the Global Environmental Facility. Plain and simple, [Page: H5285]

this is a matter of accountability, and we cannot afford to waste money on organizations that refuse to implement good-government reforms.

Mr. Chairman, this is a responsive bill. It is the result of significant oversight. It is fiscally sound, and it focuses on priorities that will advance our interests. For all of these reasons, I strongly support this bill, and I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting it on the floor today.

2:05 PM EDT

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-MI 13th

Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I thank our ranking member, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), for yielding me this time and wish a happy birthday to our chairman and thank the gentleman from Arizona for his leadership as we work for the world right here in this Chamber.

I also want to thank the gentleman from California (Chairman Lewis) and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), the ranking member, for helping us to fashion a bill that is fair. Yes, we could use more money. Our 302(b) allocations limit what we can do, but I think it is a perfect start. The Senate has $1.5 billion more to spend than we have in our bill, and I believe in conference we will see a better bill.

I want to highlight a few things about why I strongly support this bill. Everyone says it is not enough. It is never enough. HIV/AIDS is funded at the highest level it has been. I want to commend the leadership of the subcommittee. We are over a billion dollars more than the President requested for HIV and AIDS.

The Sudan and peacekeeping operations there, we are going in the right direction. We believe with this money to help Sudan we will be able to see some stability in that region soon.

I want to speak about the Middle East. I am a strong proponent of peace in the Middle East. We must have that, and our partners there are working for that.

I recently visited Egypt on my second visit there, and found that Egypt, which I already knew, some 70-plus million people, is our strongest military ally in the region. Egypt purchases our weapons and does our training and also stabilizes the other countries: Israel, with 3 to 4 million people; Jordan with 7 or 8 million people; Lebanon, Syria. The government of Egypt and President Mubarak are the peacekeepers and have been very instrumental in the Abbas-Sharon talks, as well as the Lebanon

and Syria talks. So I would hope we continue to fund Egypt to work with Egypt to make sure that they keep their commitments to the Middle East as well as to this government. I am very confident that as we work together with Egypt and with the Middle East, we will hope to see peace as we work there.

This bill also provides educational opportunities for thousands of young people all over the world who are unable to fund their own education. We know education is the difference between success and failure in young people's lives; and the better the education, the more options young people have.

Mr. Chairman, let us continue to work to build a better, stronger world. The U.S. is the largest country, the strongest country in the world. I would not want to be anywhere else. We have a responsibility to build, to grow, and to be good foreign partners. I believe this foreign ops bill for 2006 continues that effort. I urge a ``yes'' vote on the foreign operations bill. It is not perfect, but it is certainly a good piece of legislation as it moves through Congress.

2:08 PM EDT

Mark Steven Kirk, R-IL 10th

Mr. KIRK. Mr. Chairman, I congratulate the gentleman from Arizona on his birthday, rise in support of this bill, and compliment the ranking member, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), for her work.

This bill is vital to winning the war on terror. I am particularly happy that we have focused the soft power of the United States, USAID, the Board for International Broadcasting, et cetera, on key parts of Pakistan where the leaders of al Qaeda are hiding.

I do want to strike one note of warning, though. In the last 2 years, we have witnessed an explosion of heroin production in Afghanistan. Last year, drug lords in Afghanistan made over $6 billion in drug profits with some of the proceeds supporting terrorist groups. Al Qaeda and the Taliban now depend on the sale of heroin to wage their war on terror. Two years ago, drug profits sustained just two terror groups. Today, drug profits sustain four terror groups.

Last year, more drug money arrived in Afghanistan than it had in any other country, including Colombia, in history. Two years ago, only 8 percent of Afghan heroin arrived in the United States; now it is up to 12 percent, a 50 percent increase. Two months ago, the United States arrested Osama bin Laden's banker, Haji Bashir Noorzai, for attempting to smuggle $50 million of heroin into the United States. His attempt provides a stark warning that if Afghan drug dealers can smuggle heroin into the

United States, they can also smuggle terrorists. [Page: H5286]

To date, our program to reduce the Afghan heroin crop has failed. From a low of only a few hundred acres in 2001, the Afghan heroin crop topped over 200,000 acres last year.

Alternative development programs for Afghan farmers are key, and we fully fund such programs to help farmers switch from poppies to the traditional products of Afghanistan, like wheat. But even the best legal crop can only command one-twelfth the price of heroin, so we also must fund enforcement programs.

Congress approved $92 million in the fiscal year 2005 supplemental to provide helicopters for the Afghan police to catch drug lords. The program inside the administration is now adrift, and we have wasted 6 months in designing a helicopter program to help Afghan police officers. Repeatedly, some in the administration have proposed cutting this program by half to fund other programs, proposing that we largely ignore the narcoterror threat in Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairman, Afghanistan now teeters on the brink of becoming a failed narco-state. Violence against American and other NATO peacekeepers is picking up, much of it funded by narcoterrorists. As our full committee chairman, the gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis), advised Secretary Zoellick, Congress is looking for strong action against Afghan heroin; and we want the fiscal year 2005 funding for the helicopter program to move forward, and an end to rumors that the administration is

cutting the fiscal year 2007 budget for this activity.

2:12 PM EDT

Chaka Fattah, D-PA 2nd

Mr. FATTAH. Mr. Chairman, I rise to thank the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) and the ranking member, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey). In working on this bill, we found agreement on an initiative that is very important to me, and I think important to our efforts in Africa in terms of combating some of the difficulties there, particularly related to HIV and the growing threat of AIDS.

We have report language that accompanies this bill that the chairman and his staff were willing to agree to that would bring together a number of our more capable agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, the USAID and others, and have them develop a plan to take a nonincremental approach at creating a healthier blood supply in Africa. In Africa, millions of people who have contracted AIDS have done so through tainted blood transfusions, particularly pediatric AIDS cases. The ranking

member and the chairman and the staff have helped us move forward an initiative to focus on this problem. I rise to thank them.

Secondly, the bill also talks about creating a more coordinated and comprehensive effort on infectious diseases and health challenges on the continent of Africa, particularly in the sub-Saharan region.

Also, I have had a chance to speak to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis) and his top staffer, Frank Cushing, on this matter; and I really appreciate the majority's willingness to look anew at some of these issues and think through how we can approach this matter in a creative way. I thank the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) and his staff and the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey) and her staff.

2:14 PM EDT

Ed Royce, R-CA 40th

Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Chairman, I think the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe) has done well to craft a bill in a very difficult budgetary environment. It prioritizes funding for important programs. I believe his and the ranking member's efforts are appreciated.

[Time: 14:15]

I do, however, rise to express concerns about the Global Environment Facility, or GEF, whose funding is eliminated in this bill. As co-chair of the House International Conservation Caucus, I am keenly interested in conservation programs because I believe that how nations of the world manage their natural resources is a vital U.S. interest, impacting our efforts to help create a more secure and prosperous world.

The GEF is the largest international funding source for programs and support good natural resource management around the world. In the roughly 15 years since its creation, the GEF has implemented 1,500 projects in 140 countries, with biodiversity and habitat conservation being the largest single area of focus. Importantly, U.S. funding has leveraged at least $14 for every $1 we have contributed. I believe this model where our resources are matched many times over by other public and private donors

is a good approach. However, I strongly agree with the chairman's push for reform at the GEF. The United States should always be pushing for transparency and accountability at multilateral institutions, and the GEF is no exception. As the chairman knows, at the request of the U.S. Treasury

and other donor nations, the GEF has been working to implement a variety of management improvements. Currently, the GEF is in the final stages of adopting a major element in this reform process, a system of prioritizing its funding decisions called the Resource Allocation Framework.

The Council of the GEF is meeting in late August in a special session to finalize the structure of this framework. The GEF Council recognizes the need for reform and is meeting in less than 2 months to complete work on the reform element most important to the U.S. Government.

And I would respectfully inquire whether the gentleman agrees that the GEF's programs and projects are beneficial to conservation worldwide and to the United States, and assuming that a framework is finalized at the upcoming special meeting of the GEF, would that constitute sufficient progress on reform to have the gentleman revisit GEF funding in the conference?

2:17 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank the gentleman from California for raising this important issue. I also support international conservation efforts, and I applaud the gentleman for his leadership as co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus.

I believe that the Global Environment Facility has done good work over the years to help conserve the environment and to address some of the more difficult international environmental problems that require international cooperation to be solved. Nevertheless, I have been concerned about the pace of reform within this organization.

My purpose in eliminating its funding is to ensure that the limited amount of resources in this bill are used in the most efficient possible way. My goal is not to definitively end U.S. contributions to the GEF this year or in the future. However, until the final GEF reforms are in place, I am concerned that GEF funding is not being used optimally.

I appreciate the unique role that GEF can play in international conservation, and I believe that a reformed and functioning GEF is worthy of support. If the GEF agrees to implement a performance-based allocation system at the August-September, 2005, Special Meeting of the GEF Council, then I would be willing and will be willing to work with the gentleman and the other body to help restore the U.S. contribution to the GEF during conference.

2:18 PM EDT

Nita Lowey, D-NY 18th

Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I want to thank the gentleman from California for raising this important issue. As I have said repeatedly throughout the process of moving this bill to the House floor, I am deeply disappointed that this bill does not fulfill the U.S. commitment to the Global Environmental Facility.

Since its establishment in 1991, the GEF has provided $5 billion in grants, leveraged $16 billion in co-financing for projects in 140 countries around the world, has provided more than 4,000 grants directly to smaller organizations. The U.S. has provided close to $1 billion to the GEF over this same time frame.

The GEF is unique in its laser-like focus on environmental sustainability. It is the most effective way for the United States and other donor nations [Page: H5287]

to support biodiversity and prevent climate change.

House passage of the bill with no funding for the GEF will send a strong message, but I hope not the wrong message. I agree with the chairman that the U.S. should encourage transparency, responsibility, and accountability of the institution. And I hope that is what the international community takes away from today's debate.

However, I do believe that in cutting off all funding to the GEF, we run the risk of sending the message that the United States no longer supports the good work of the organization. I am pleased that today's discussion will clarify that this is not true, and I join the chairman and the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) in looking forward to the August GEF Council meeting, which will hopefully include the adoption of a performance-based Resource Allocation Framework. I am optimistic

that the Senate will do the right thing by the GEF and that we will be able to provide the requested levels in conference. I look forward to working with the chairman and the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) to see that this happens.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Farr), who has been a real advocate for the environment.

2:20 PM EDT

Sam Farr, D-CA 17th

Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this time.

I rise today to speak on an issue that is probably best spelled out in The Los Angeles Times today by Sonni Efron, who is a writer for the Times. The Times article is entitled ``Drug War Fails to Dent U.S. Supply.''

I would like to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their commitment to international development and improving our national security by attacking the culture of poverty and injustice, which I think are the root causes of terrorism in this world. I would also like to thank the chairman for engaging in a debate with me during the full committee markup regarding the increased funding for alternative development in Colombia.

I had offered an amendment in committee that would have shifted funding from the military and fumigation side of the Andean CounterDrug Initiative to funding more alternative development programs. My amendment would have shifted funds in five of the departments, which are like ``states'' in Colombia that are receiving little or no alternative development assistance; yet they are being heavily fumigated. While we are using all stick and no carrot in these regions, only spraying a farmer's crop

but not providing for an alternative livelihood is not a sustainable solution to a coca growing problem in the Andean region.

Given the chairman's commitment to work in conference to increase the funding for alternative development programs in Colombia and the Andean region as a whole, I withdrew my amendment in committee.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind the chairman of his commitment and thank him again for his efforts regarding the alternative development in Colombia, and I know the chairman has been a tireless supporter of development and security in Latin America. I look forward to working with him and the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), ranking member, on these important issues and hope in conference that they can restore the funding that I am sure the Senate side will add

to.

I would like to close by referring everyone to this L.A. Times article today. I think it speaks to the point that America needs to focus on working itself out of jobs, not making people dependent upon American jobs to develop economic security in their own countries.

2:22 PM EDT

Bob Beauprez, R-CO 7th

Mr. BEAUPREZ. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I want to first of all acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the chairman, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe), and the ranking member, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), for their dedication and the construction of a very, very good bill.

But I rise tonight with an amendment, and the intent of this amendment is very, very simple. It is to return cop killers back to the United States to stand trial in our country, the same country in which they committed their unthinkable crime.

The problem was brought to my attention last month after Denver Police Detective Donnie Young was allegedly executed by Raul Gomez-Garcia. After killing Detective Young and shooting and wounding his partner, Gomez-Garcia fled to Mexico, where he was tracked down and arrested weeks later. The Mexican Government now refuses to extradite him back to the U.S. if there is any chance he could spend life in prison without parole. Detective Young's widow and his two children now face the further tragedy

of either partial justice or no justice at all being served to her husband's killer.

In another case, in 2002, a convicted felon who had been deported three times allegedly shot and killed a Los Angeles County sheriff following a routine traffic stop before fleeing to Mexico, where he remains today, essentially escaping justice.

The U.S. should not be forced to plea bargain with other countries in order to try criminals, especially cop killers, in our own courts. As a good neighbor, Mexico should live up to their end of our extradition treaty. Killing a police officer is one of the most egregious crimes, and we should have the right to seek justice for the families of the slain officers.

The U.S. is not obliged to give foreign aid, and we should not reward nations giving safe haven to cop killers. I ask my colleagues to vote for this commonsense amendment that will bring help and peace and justice to those who deserve it most.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. McHenry).

2:23 PM EDT

Randy Cunningham, R-CA 50th

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the ranking member and the chairman for this bill.

It is easy for some people to vote against foreign ops until they understand what it is. There are four legs of a table: the military foreign ops, intel, and homeland security; and probably a fifth now with the rising cost of fuel, energy.

Foreign ops is critical in that security table. Why? If we think about the position of the Palestinian-Israeli issue with Sharon, for the first time, I heard the gentleman from California (Mr. Berman) speak that we have hope in the Middle East, hope. If we take a look, it is easy to think about cutting certain countries, but think of what a thin edge they are on right now. Look at Indonesia with its problems, how they help us. Look at Saudi Arabia that is moving more and more toward

a moderate state. Do they have problems? Yes. Look at Egypt, and it would be easy for someone to come up and have an amendment to cut them. But in Saudi Arabia I sure do not want ``King Osama bin Laden,'' or in Indonesia, if we look at the thin thread. Or Pakistan. In Pakistan take

a look at Hamboli; KSM, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was a guy who planned 9/11. We just caught Abu al-Libbi, who is the guy who took Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's position. And they have stopped major events and attacks within the United States because of our foreign operations bill.

Look at Sudan. They ethically cleansed probably as many people as Saddam Hussein or in Kosovo or Bosnia, and that brings world peace.

But even worse, look at the HIV threat. There are more deaths in HIV in Africa than during the plagues, and if we support that, A, it makes a safer America, but it also protects and stabilizes Africa itself.

2:25 PM EDT

Nita Lowey, D-NY 18th

Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 1/4 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), our distinguished minority leader, who has been a strong advocate for the United States' increased role in the world today.

2:25 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this time. This is an important bill. The United States is the leader of the free world, and, frankly, the United States is far behind many in the industrialized world in investing in the peace and security of the international community.

Mr. Chairman, for several years, however, I have expressed serious concerns about the amount of dollars that we give to Egypt. Egypt is a friend and an ally. Egypt is number two in terms of the dollars that we invest, both in military and economic aid. However, Egypt has one of the largest and most modern militaries in the Middle East, with approximately $2.4 billion in annual defense spending. More than half of that funding, $1.3 billion in this bill, is provided by the United States.

Notwithstanding that, however, I do not believe that Egypt and its leadership is conducting itself in a way consistent with its alliance with this country. Nearly one out of five Egyptians live in poverty; yet we give very little economic aid, relatively speaking. Roughly half of Egypt's adults are illiterate. Unemployment is in double figures, and the country has a per capita income of just $700 per year.

In this context, Mr. Chairman, I am concerned that the United States provides almost three times the amount of military assistance to Egypt than we provide in economic assistance, $1.3 billion to $495 million in this bill.

That is not my principal concern. My principal concern is the relationship between the extraordinary investment that America makes in Egypt and the lack of cooperation as it relates to some of their policies not only on the military side, but on the human rights and discrimination side.

Regional stability and the efforts to stem the development of terrorist organizations are served not only by providing for Egypt's military strength, but also by ensuring prosperity and economic opportunities for the people of Egypt, and having Egypt cooperate in bringing down the level of hatred, discrimination, and prejudice in its own country and in the Middle East. Mr. Chairman, I would hope that we would make that message clear to our friends in Egypt.

I offered an amendment in committee. That amendment would have shifted $40 million from military assistance to the economic assistance. That, in my opinion, would have had the effect of educating more Egyptian children, bringing more Egyptians out of poverty, perhaps investing greater amounts in the economic development and job creation seen in Egypt. That would, in my opinion, have been a very positive step forward.

My friend, the chairman of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations urged me not to do that. And as a result of his urging, I withdrew that amendment.

One of the reasons I withdrew that amendment is because Egypt is an important ally. But I would hope that our Egyptian friends would address the issues of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, anti-Catholic/Christian, prejudice, and destabilization within their own country and within the Middle East. We need to continue to send that message.

2:29 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this time. This is an important bill. The United States is the leader of the free world, and, frankly, the United States is far behind many in the industrialized world in investing in the peace and security of the international community.

Mr. Chairman, for several years, however, I have expressed serious concerns about the amount of dollars that we give to Egypt. Egypt is a friend and an ally. Egypt is number two in terms of the dollars that we invest, both in military and economic aid. However, Egypt has one of the largest and most modern militaries in the Middle East, with approximately $2.4 billion in annual defense spending. More than half of that funding, $1.3 billion in this bill, is provided by the United States.

Notwithstanding that, however, I do not believe that Egypt and its leadership is conducting itself in a way consistent with its alliance with this country. Nearly one out of five Egyptians live in poverty; yet we give very little economic aid, relatively speaking. Roughly half of Egypt's adults are illiterate. Unemployment is in double figures, and the country has a per capita income of just $700 per year.

In this context, Mr. Chairman, I am concerned that the United States provides almost three times the amount of military assistance to Egypt than we provide in economic assistance, $1.3 billion to $495 million in this bill.

That is not my principal concern. My principal concern is the relationship between the extraordinary investment that America makes in Egypt and the lack of cooperation as it relates to some of their policies not only on the military side, but on the human rights and discrimination side.

Regional stability and the efforts to stem the development of terrorist organizations are served not only by providing for Egypt's military strength, but also by ensuring prosperity and economic opportunities for the people of Egypt, and having Egypt cooperate in bringing down the level of hatred, discrimination, and prejudice in its own country and in the Middle East. Mr. Chairman, I would hope that we would make that message clear to our friends in Egypt.

I offered an amendment in committee. That amendment would have shifted $40 million from military assistance to the economic assistance. That, in my opinion, would have had the effect of educating more Egyptian children, bringing more Egyptians out of poverty, perhaps investing greater amounts in the economic development and job creation seen in Egypt. That would, in my opinion, have been a very positive step forward.

My friend, the chairman of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations urged me not to do that. And as a result of his urging, I withdrew that amendment.

One of the reasons I withdrew that amendment is because Egypt is an important ally. But I would hope that our Egyptian friends would address the issues of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, anti-Catholic/Christian, prejudice, and destabilization within their own country and within the Middle East. We need to continue to send that message.

2:29 PM EDT

Steven R. Rothman, D-NJ 9th

Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the ranking member for yielding me this time.

Let me just say at first that this bill is a well-crafted bill that I support within the confines of the amount of money that the majority has chosen to give us to work with.

[Time: 14:30]

I also want to acknowledge the extraordinary bipartisan work that has taken place here, and I want to thank our chairman and his staff for reaching out to us in the minority to include our priorities as well. I think this is a real bipartisan effort, and I am grateful for that.

I also want to acknowledge the support of our ranking member, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), and I want to thank our chairman, the gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis), for all their support of the foreign operations bill this year and over the years.

Mr. Chairman, most Americans believe that America spends 10 to 15 percent of its budget on foreign aid. That is simply not the case, though. We only spend about 1 percent of our budget on foreign aid, and that 1 percent is very well spent.

We use that money, that foreign assistance, to help fellow democracies stay strong and secure. We help struggling democracies who are undergoing tough times because of the neighborhood they live in or because of their own economies. We also help people who want to be free and live in a democracy help create democracies.

Why do we care about democracies, other than being Americans and we believe everyone has a right to live free? Because we know that democracies are good trading partners and they do not go to war against one another. So there is a very practical reason for our foreign assistance program.

Beyond that, of course, is the humanitarian obligation, the moral obligation that we have to help people in need. Virtually every major religion in the world acknowledges our moral obligation to help poor people and those in need of charity and compassion. [Page: H5289]

So for all those reasons, Mr. Chairman, I believe this foreign aid bill is important. I do regret that the Global Environmental Facility is not being funded under this bill, and I look forward, as the chairman suggests, to that money perhaps being included in conference. That would make this bill complete. Then, of course, if there were as much money as the other body is designating for this foreign assistance, that would be even better.

But this is a good, bipartisan bill, because foreign assistance is in America's vital national interest, and also because it is the right thing to do.

2:36 PM EDT

Dan Burton, R-IN 5th

Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word for the purpose of entering into colloquy with the distinguished chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Committee on Appropriations regarding the fiscal year 2006 budget for counternarcotics programs in Peru.

Mr. Chairman, as chairman of the Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I have been extensively involved in United States counternarcotics efforts in Central and South America. As a result, I was deeply disappointed to see that the President's fiscal year 2006 request for the Andean Counterdrug Initiative for Peru is 16 percent below last year's enacted level. The President's budget aims to reduce the U.S. assistance for Peruvian counternarcotic eradication

and interdiction from a level of $62 million enacted in 2005 to a request of $54 million in 2006, and reduces alternative development funds from a level of $54 million to $43 million.

I believe this is absolutely the wrong time for such a cut and such a low level of funding, if enacted, will only jeopardize the gains we have made in Peru in the areas of coca eradication, interdiction and alternative development.

In 2004, with the assistance of the United States, Peru eradicated almost 10,000 hectares of coca, of which 7,500 hectares were eradicated manually by the Peruvian police, and another 2,500 hectares were voluntarily eradicated by Peruvian communities in exchange for community development programs. Moreover, alternative development programs supported legally grown crops on almost 20,000 more hectares of Peruvian farmland.

Historically, Colombian narcotraffickers sent cocaine base from Peru to Colombia for conversion into cocaine HCL, but in recent years the traffickers have relied more on coca cultivation and base production in Colombia. But the traffickers in Colombia are under increasing pressure from the Colombian Government, thanks to the successes of Plan Colombia.

So far we have successfully avoided a so-called ``balloon effect'' from the successes of Plan Colombia in terms of seeing Colombian traffickers substantially shifting cultivation of narcotics crops back to Peru. But there are warning signs, indications that coca cultivation is starting to spring up outside the traditional cultivation zones in Peru that point to this happening if we do not take steps to prevent it.

Additionally, there is good intelligence that appears to indicate an upward trend in terms of poppy cultivation in Peru regarding heroin. I have spoken to officials in Peru, and they are deeply concerned about these warning signs, as well as the emerging opium threat.

Recent Ministry of Peru data indicates that Peru now may have 1,400 [Page: H5292]

hectares of opium crops, mostly in the north near the Ecuadorian and Colombian borders, and there are strong indications that opium latex is now being moved by Colombian drug dealers through Ecuador into Colombia for processing into heroin. A recent seizure of 4,440 kilos of opium in Peru, nearly half a ton of opium, potentially 40 kilos of processed heroin, shows just how serious the

growth of opium is becoming.

Taken as a whole, I believe, as do my colleagues in Peru, that this data indicate that enacting drastic cuts for Peruvian counternarcotic efforts at this time would seriously undermine Peru's coca eradication efforts in the long term and the ability of Peru to implement a similar opium eradication program.

So, Mr. Chairman, the government and, more importantly, the people of Peru have recognized the dangers of narcotics to their society. Public polls last year consistently found that Peruvians see narcotics as the second most serious problem in the country after the state of the economy. The people of Peru have taken a courageous stand against the drug traffickers; and like the people of Colombia, they are taking their country back from the criminals and terrorists. Now is not the time to reduce

U.S. support for their efforts.

I would like to yield to my colleague from Arizona to hear his views about this funding.

2:40 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I am happy to respond. I want to thank the gentleman for his stalwart efforts in fighting narcoterrorism in Latin America. I share the gentleman's concerns and thank him for raising this issue here today.

Since 2002, Peru's budget under ACI has decreased slightly each year, but the decrease in the 2006 request was for an astounding 16 percent. Therefore, the committee included language in the House report rejecting these cuts and directing that not less than $61 million be made available for eradication and interdiction for Peru and not less than $53 million shall be available for alternative development and institution-building in Peru.

When the committee proceeds to conference negotiations with the Senate later this summer or fall, I commit to the gentleman that we will push for this funding in the final agreement.

2:43 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. The report language does not specifically raise the topic raised by the gentleman from Washington. I am certainly glad that he has taken this moment on the floor because of his interest in this issue, and I agree with him about the importance of our counternarcotics and law enforcement assistance in Mexico.

He correctly points out that the bill includes $40 million in international narcotics and law enforcement assistance for the country of Mexico. Part of this represents a restoration of funding to last year's level. The President had only requested $30 million for this purpose in this year's bill.

So I would be happy to work with the gentleman from Washington as we move forward with this bill with the Senate and in conference. We can work together to make sure that the issue of methamphetamine trafficking as it relates to Mexico is forthrightly addressed in the administration's request or in the final budget account. In representing a district right along the border, I understand fully the importance of this issue.

2:48 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I share my colleague's abhorrence regarding the rule in Zimbabwe, and he has outlined it, I think, extraordinarily well. Through his mismanagement and outright oppression, he has driven Zimbabwe, once known as the bread basket of southern Africa, into the greatest source of instability in the region. I want to make it clear that no funding, no funding from this bill will be used to support Mr. Mugabe's government.

The bill does include $15 million to help the people of Zimbabwe. I feel strongly that this assistance is critical and must be sustained. Over $11 million of this is for HIV/AIDS and other health programs. Most of the rest is used to help strengthen citizen groups and other organizations, so one day the people may have an effective voice against Mr. Mugabe and his cronies.

Democratic change must be driven by the people. As we have seen in Georgia and Ukraine, our democracy programs can be effective in supporting that process. And, the people of Zimbabwe must not feel that the international community has given up on them.

While I feel strongly that our assistance to the Zimbabwean people must be sustained, I will be happy to work with the gentleman to find ways to increase pressure on President Mugabe.

2:50 PM EDT

Nita Lowey, D-NY 18th

Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I want to commend the gentleman from California for raising this issue. I too am very concerned about the repressive and totalitarian turns that Zimbabwe has taken in recent years under Mr. Mugabe.

The decision to evict thousands of poor people from their homes and bulldoze their property is one of the worst forms of brutality Mr. Mugabe has used against his own people, who are already suffering from food shortages and economic stagnation. He is truly relentless in his effort to quash any opposition he perceives.

As the chairman has said, there is no U.S. funding for Mr. Mugabe's regime contained in the bill. However, at a time when Zimbabweans are suffering so much, I am loathe to place conditions or limitations on any assistance that might help the beleaguered people of the country and ease their isolation from the rest of the international community. I am particularly concerned about any limitations on HIV/AIDS programs which comprise the bulk of our assistance to Zimbabwe.

Once again, I thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff) for raising this issue, and I hope to work with him and the chairman as the bill progresses.

2:57 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I just want to make one point to the membership on both sides of the aisle. As has been the case with most appropriation bills this year, we are trying to work our way to a unanimous consent agreement that will limit time for discussion of amendments to this bill in such a way that we can finish this bill today.

Right now, the unanimous consent agreement which is being worked on would result, if you take into account the debate time plus the slippage time that occurs between each speech, we would probably be on the floor for about 6 to 6 1/2 hours, not counting vote time. That means that we would be very lucky to finish this bill by 10 o'clock tonight.

We are being asked to do so earlier if possible so that we can finish the transportation bill by debating it on Wednesday and Thursday, trying to avoid a Friday session before the July Fourth break.

We are getting, frankly, crossed signals from Members. Some Members want to see to it that we get out by Thursday; other Members want to see the time on their amendments extended. We cannot accomplish both goals at the same time. So I ask Members to choose for themselves what they want, whether they want to be here Friday or whether they would like to reach a reasonably congenial agreement on time limits so that we can finish this bill at a reasonable hour tonight and finish the remaining appropriation

bill by Thursday.

But this is really up to Members. We cannot control what Members offer on the floor; all we can do is deliver the bad news.

[Time: 15:00]

3:02 PM EDT

Randy Cunningham, R-CA 50th

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I may not be able to be here during the debate on an amendment for veterans, and I wanted to speak to it. I want to offer a little history, but I think it is a balanced history from both sides. I remember when President Clinton's budget on the veterans, the VFW, the American Legion, Vietnam veterans, all rallied against the budget because it cut veterans health care. We worked with the other body, both of us on both sides of the aisle; and even some of those that voted with President

Clinton on his budget voted with us to restore that health care by $1 billion.

We have increased veterans health care by 16 percent. But it is not enough. There is a shortfall and we must attend to it.

Historically, this body works with the other body in conference and I believe that some of those dollars will come forward, maybe not what we all want, but I believe some of those dollars will come together for veterans health care.

I remember in 1993 when my colleagues occupied the White House, the House and the Senate, veterans COLAs were cut. Military COLAs were cut. And there was a tax increase on the middle income.

In 1994, when Republicans took the majority, together with Republicans and Democrats, many of the same Democrats that voted with the President on his budget restored the military COLAs. We worked together to restore the veterans COLAs. And I would have to say probably on this side we will take a little more credit for restoring and reducing the tax on the middle class.

We have worked together, although we have not got what we want on concurrent receipts. For 40 years my colleagues on the other side did not address concurrent receipts. And we have. But at the same time, when it has been addressed under a Republican majority, then the Democrats have come forward and helped us.

Two different sessions we have passed bills on concurrent receipts together. And now there is a bipartisan commission going forward to see what direction we will write down.

I look at TRICARE for life, which we worked together on.

Subvention. I did not write the subvention bill, but my veterans in San Diego, California wrote that bill and put it forward, basically, where you can use Medicare dollars at VA health care.

The Filipino Veterans Equity Act. One of the gentlemen on the other side I very rarely vote with. But we worked together to restore the promise that was made to our Filipino veterans back during the MacArthur days, and we have worked together on that as well.

You do not have to look far to see where we come together, and I do not think any Member on either side of the aisle can look at another one and say, you do not care about veterans; you do not care about our military; you do not care about our Guard and Reserve. That is just not true.

Some people vote against military issues. Maybe their district has got extreme poverty and it is a way of funding their issues and their problems. It does not mean they do not care about the military itself.

The Republican budget looked at many years of substantial increases and almost every account, including veterans, including education and health care. But we decided to get our arms around the deficit. [Page: H5295]

Many of my colleagues on both sides talk about the deficit and the debt. If we, as Members, or you, Mr. Chairman, if you have got a checkbook and you spend more than you are going to take in, you are going to be bankrupt, and you are going to have less in the future to spend. For us to get our arms around this budget and still fund our priorities, I think we will when we come together with the other body.

A classic case of savings: the welfare reform bill passed many years ago which was lauded by President Clinton as one of the best bills to help people in this country. I also happen to agree with him.

But at the same time we have gone through these increases, we have been fighting the war on terror. If you look at Kadafi, his nuclear weapons are in the United States today. And even more important, we have found the black market that supported North Korea, Pakistan, India, and others. What kind of value is that to us, not just to our veterans, but our military and our homeland security?

I mentioned a minute ago Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Hambali and Abu Halibi, the people that were actually planning raids on the United States. Now, those people are all made up of military that then become veterans, and we owe them a priority.

3:10 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for her comments and for her kind remarks about my support for HIV/AIDS funding. It is a commitment that I share with the gentlewoman from California. I believe very strongly in the importance of this. In fact, when I became chairman of this subcommittee, I said there were three primary things that I wanted to do, and this was one of them.

I think the gentlewoman is forgetting something, and that is there is funding in another appropriation bill for international AIDS, largely in CDC and NIH, in the Labor-HHS bill. When you add those amounts in, this year, we are at $3.2 billion total funding for HIV/AIDS and international programs, so we are above. If you take the $15 billion over 5 years that the President talked about, $3 billion would be a level funding. We started off below that. This year in the third year we are above it.

We are not only on target to meet the $15 billion; we will be above that by the end of the fifth year. So we are moving clearly in that direction. And I believe that we are showing our commitment.

We are $131 million this year above the amount requested by the President. We are $502 million above the amount that was appropriated in 2005. That is just in our particular appropriation bill.

So I do share the gentlewoman's concerns about this, and I believe, however, that we are moving very strongly in that direction. And perhaps the gentlewoman from New York would like to add something.

3:11 PM EDT

Maxine Waters, D-CA 35th

Ms. WATERS. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I was referring to the PEPFAR portion of this. It was my understanding that the $15 billion commitment was above and beyond the other programs that you are alluding to. But I do appreciate that.

3:11 PM EDT

Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. If the gentlewoman would yield just for one clarification, I think the gentlewoman is mistaken on that. The $15 billion was a total for all HIV/AIDS programs, not just the PEPFAR's program. So when you look at all the programs that were already under way in bilateral programs, things being done in NIH and CDC as well as in the new PEPFAR program, the global fund, all of that, we will be well above, I think we will be considerably above the $15 billion.

3:12 PM EDT

Maxine Waters, D-CA 35th

Ms. WATERS. Well, I understand that and I appreciate the gentleman correcting my thinking relative to where the money was to come from, because in the AIDS activist community, we were all under the impression that the PEPFAR fund alone would produce the $15 billion. But we will certainly take that information.