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.