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.