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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 10, 2009 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT

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of the hague convention he or she becomes yours. and the administration a brazilian president -- they are complicity. they have done precious little to mitigate the damage being done to american children, especially david goldman -- david's son, sean, in bra stpwhrill it declares -- in brazil. it declares the report -- am i out of time? again, i support this amendment strongly and, again, i urge my colleagues to stay atuned to this. we have to bring sean home. i yield back the balance. mr. holt: i ask unanimous consent to recover any remaining time that i have to yield to the gentleman from georgia. the chair: without objection. mr. holt: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt.
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we strongly support the amendment that would require the secretary of state to make recommendations to congress on the kinds of change needed to the hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction and where applicable to united states law. mr. speaker, the purpose of the hague convention is to ensure that in situations where a child was wrongfully removed from his or her country or habitual residence by one parent against the will of another parent, the agreed -- the aggrieved parent has an internationally recognized means of recovering his or her abducted child. unfortunately, many american families have come face to face with the very real limitations of the current hague conventions and their efforts to recover parentally kidnapped children taken to other countries. such as we case of the high profile case involving mr. david goldman of new jersey whose son sean was kidnapped by
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his wife in 2004. this case is largely -- has largely languished in brazil's courts in that time despite the fact that brazil is a partner with the united states in the convention's enforcement. the legal process only moved in periods of intense media attention on mr. goldman's behalf. changes in u.s. law and convention appear to be warranted to ensure that children can be convictly returned to their left behind parents and their homes. this report will help us identify legal changes congress can consider on behalf of the over 1,000 american children who are currently living in other countries as a result of a parental abduction. mr. speaker, this amendment is an important step in addressing a problem that will likely get worse in coming years in light of the growing number of
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transnational births and marriages. we must continue to use the legal tools at our disposal to prevent or resolve these childhood abduction cases. i support the gentleman from new jersey's amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: all time has expired. the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. we now consider amendment number 12 printed in house report 114-143. cloim amendment number 12 baferede ms. ginny brown-waite of florida. the chair: the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown-waite, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida.
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ms. brown-waite: just a few moments ago i rose to point out what i believe is unnecessary spending. i suppose it's not a coincidence that i rise again to point out what i believe is another unnecessary spending item. section 303 of the foreign relations act before us authorizes funding for the establishment of a lessons learned center. if money were no object i think it may be a fine thing to do. in fact, it's thoord imagine that anything produced by the center would not be used. however, as you can imagine many of my colleagues are wondering why would anyone oppose the center. they might point out that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. mr. chairman, in some way miscolleague mace be right. but what is essential is that we do learn from our mistakes. that's prix liss -- precisely why the state department's exam to become a foreign service
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officer is so rigorous and why the intelligence agencies seek the best and brightest. frankly that's why the entire academic community, going back thousands of years, studies history. additionally work 24-hour news events, we all become instantly knowledgeable, it is reviewed and reviewed, anything that happens that has happened, it gets reviewed add nazz yam. -- add nauseam. learning lessons from history is so important that we already have tens of thousands of academies that do that every single day. the proposed lessons learned center has a great name. yet i think this will be simply one more example of spending money on things we want and not limiting ourselveses to those things we need. listen, just listen. you can hear the giant sucking sound of washington finding new
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and different ways to spend dollars, spend, spend. i don't want to belabor the point but congress has already approved a $700 billion bailout package and an $800 billion stimulus pack -- package in the last year alone. meanwhile, our medicare and social security trust frunds that our constituents relie on will be -- exhausted sooner than we thought. we're also fighting tough wars in two countries why my colleagues belief that a lessons learned center might prevent such costly wars in the future, i would appeal to your intellect and your sense of fiduciary responsibility with all the massive charges already on the people's tab, the american taxpayer tab, and with spending at government agencies going up dramatically this year across the board, i ask my colleagues to make tough choices that the american people expect us to make.
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all this portion of the bill does is create more government jobs. i urge adoption of this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. berman: i rise to claim the time in opposition to this amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: mr. chairman, for the life of me,ky not understand why the gentlelady's amendment seeks to cut what may be one of the most important processes that could take place to learn how to do things better and i strongly oppose the amendment and i yield three minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts. who is sort of the originator of this proposal. in some ways. >> i thank the gentleman for
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yielding and rise in strong opposition to this amendment as well. this provision is intended to improve the effectiveness of the state department and usaid, to save taxpayer dollars. so that there is greater firktcy, improved capabilities, less waste, more bang for the buck, if you will. to do that, we've taken a page from the military. section 303 is modeled after lessons learned centers in the armed services. these are mechanisms if you will, which allow our men and women in uniform to learn from the successes and as importantly, the mistakes of their colleagues. by cutting down on the need to reinvent the wheel, they have
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saved not just money, but they've saved lives. the state department and usaid do not have a lessons learned center. even though they like the military are spread across the globe with multiple missions. this results in waste, inefficiency, wasted energy, and tragically, sometimes in the loss of lives of american foreign service. by the way, this is not just an intellectual exercise. with all due respect, i would suggest to my friend from california she reads this book, entitled "hard lessons." it's about the colossal waste in the reconstruction of iraq. if we had a lessons learned center, we could have saved billions of taxpayer's dollars. read the book, my friend.
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ms. ros-lehtinen: would the gentleman yield? mr. delahunt: i won't yield. it's put out by the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction, mr. bowen. it is a testimony about what happens if you do not have a tested blueprint with the expenditure of dollars overseas. it's a remarkable piece of work. i want to make clear what this provision does. it begins the process of creating a lesson learned center by authorizing its creation and requiring a report from the department of state on how much it would cost to actually establish such a center, so it's only calling for this moment a report. that report itself will detail the cost. i'd be happy to work with the gentlelady from florida as this report is produced so we can
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ensure that it details ways. i yield back, given the fact that i know the gentleman from florida also wants -- but please oppose this motion. mr. berman: i yield the remaining time on this amendment to the gentleman from florida, mr. klein. mr. klein: i rise today to also oppose the gentlelady's amendment. the underlying legislation contains common sense provisions to ensure we're making the most use of our taxpayer funds in our diplomatic mission. there are a wide variety of opinions about how effective our diplomatic provisions have been and we appreciate the men and women in the diplomatic core. we can do -- diplomatic corps. we can do better. this will allow the state department and usaid to be more efficient in their speing and reduce due public kative efforts.
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dupe licktive efforts. it also includes a quad renall review of our plan for u.s. diplomacy, just like the defense department does every four years. this to me is exactly what we should be doing in this bill as we begin a new way of looking at our diplomatic efforts. i appreciate the gentlewoman's effort but i think this is fundamentally a crucial part of this piece of legislation. i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 13 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise?
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mr. bishop spb -- mr. bishop: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 13 printed in house report 114 will have 143 offered by mr. bishop of new york. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. mr. bishop: thank you. my amendment is very straightforward. it directs the government accountability office to study the affects of usaid's buy america waiver on u.s. based manufacturers seeking to provide the president's emergency plan for aids relief, pepfar, with h.i.v. test kits. it will also examine the availability of h.i.v. testing for at-risk populations in low-income countries. it does not propose any policy changes.
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it will help us examine the use of waivers and determine if hardworking american manufacturers of h.i.v. test kits are being undercut by competitors. it's important for the u.s. to lend a hand to fight this deadly epidemic but we should do everything possible to preserve american jobs in the process, particularly when spending american dollars. when pepfar was created in 2003, it was believed american companies did not have sufficient capacity to manufacturer or supply the program with quality h.i.v. test kits. to fill the void a waiver of the long standing buy america policy was extended so usaid could immediately provide testing, counseling, and treatment assistance to countries in most dire need of help. foreign companies already producing h.i.v. test kits and related products were able to step in and supply pepfar with the resources necessary to combat the spread of h.i.v.-aids. however, since 2003, american manufacturers have taken the initiative to play an active
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role in pepfar by developing high quality h.i.v. test kits kitts that provide accurate results with minimal training. these products continue to be developed here in the was american hard work and ingenuity. if more american companies are able to provide usaid products that meet the requirements of pepfar without reducing the effectiveness of the program, then perhaps congress should rethink buy america waivers for h.i.v. testing. when the requested study is complete, we should be able to draw conclusion on two important issues, one, whether or not the waiver puts american companies at a disadvantage when looking to supply their test kits to pepfar, and two, if the buy america waivers have an effect on access to h.i.v. testing for at-risk populations in he-income countries. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and the underlying bill and i yield back the balance of my time. i'm sorry. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition to the amendment although i do not oppose the substance of the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. chairman. the amendment by the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop, requires a g.a.o. report on the effects that waivers of the buy america act for the purchase of h.i.v. test kits under the president's emergency plan for aids relief, pepfar, have had on american manufacturers. pepfar, as we know, is one of the largest and most successful foreign assistance programs of our country. and it was re-authorized just last year for an astounding $48 billion over the next five years. expanding access for testing is a vital and core component of pepfar, both in terms of prevention and treatment. and in some cases the purchase of test kits manufactured outside of the outside has been deemed a more cost-effective
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and efficient means by which to expand testing and access to testing. still some have expressed concern about the impact that those waivers may be having on united states-based manufacturers and questioned whether the purchase of these test kits manufactured abroad really has increased access to testing. thus, an evaluation of this nature may be an appropriate exercise, particularly as the pepfar program scales up to transition from an emergency program to a sustainable program. and i, therefore, support the gentleman in his amendment. and i yield back the balance of my time, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from new york. mr. bishop: i'll yield the balance of my time to the chairman. mr. berman: mr. chairman, simply to join the sponsor of the amendment and the ranking member in support of the amendment, and i yield back.
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mr. bishop: i thank the -- the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. bishop: i thank the chairman for his support. i thank the ranking member for her support. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 14 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from wisconsin rise? ms. moore: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk and i would like it -- i request its immediate consideration. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 14 printed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by ms. moore of wisconsin. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 522, the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore, and a member opposed, auto letch control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wisconsin. ms. moore: mr. chairman, i yield myself three minutes. thank you, mr. chairman.
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i rise today to urge a yes vote on my amendment to the foreign relations authorization. this is a time of unprecedented change in our outreach efforts to our global neighbors. and this authorization will help guide that path for the upcoming year. and i would therefore really like to thank the committee for their hard work. and i would also like to thank my very good friend, congresswoman maloney of new york for being a leader and steadfast advocate for the women of afghanistan. it is just so difficult to express the hurdles that face afghan women and girls. there are just few words to describe the abhorrent conditions that assault these women and girls on a daily basis. and there are few experiences in our own lives that compare to their constant struggle for survival and freedom. afghanistan has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world. one in eight afghan women die due to pregnancy-related
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complications every year. that's one woman every 30 minutes. after years of brutal taliban rule that allowed few rights for women, approximately 90% of their female population is illit rate. there are over -- illiterate. there are over 50,000 widows in the country, many of whom lack substantive means to support themselves or their female children, who lack access to health care, to education, to employment, to sherlt and on and on and on. the united states and international aid organizations have provided billions of dollars to rebuild the country and to promote the basic and fundamental human rights of the afghan people. more importantly, though, we have asked our own people to sacrifice our sons a daughters, our citizens for this cause. our brave men and women serving in afghanistan are there to protect the american people but they are also there to reach
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out to the people in this war-torn country. and that is why, mr. chairman, i have authored this particular amendment. earlier this year the afghan government moved a measure that would severely suppress the rights of its country's shiite women and girls. this measure would further restrict their ability and actually legalized marital rape. it does not condemn the marriage of minors and instead it points -- it appears to promote it. this legislation ties a woman's legal financial stability and well-being to a man and demans that a woman submit sexually to her husband in order to be privy to any sort of protection. i have seen proposals like this in depth reporting on multiple news media outlights highlighting that single girls, married women face in
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afghanistan. now, i understand there are cultural differences, and i understand that cultural and society in the middle east will never look like that in the united states. i yield myself 30 more seconds. but i also understand what secretary of state hillary clinton speaks of when she says that a woman's rights are human rights, and i understand that these actions prevent a nation from moving beyond an era still wounded by the scars and fierce of years of oppressive taliban rule. and with that i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to this amendment although i do not oppose the substance of it. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. chairman. in fact, i rise in support of the amendment offered by the gentlelady from wisconsin. mr. chairman, this amendment has a noble purpose to draw attention to the potential erosion of the social and
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economic progress that has benefited women throughout afghanistan since the fall of the taliban. many of us in congress have remained focus on key areas addressed in the afghan national development strategy. the basis of the afghan -- afghanistan compact which are vital for building human capital and creating and enabling an environment, for promoting equal rights and opportunities for women in that country. we have also focused on ensuring the development and application of sustainable strategies that invest in afghanistan's human capital, equipping both afghani women and men with the skills, the support and the resources needed to move their country forward to peace and stability. furthermore, we have repeatedly expressed our commitment to afghan political, economic and social development and promoting the participation of women and indeed all afghans in these processes. i urge my colleagues to support
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this important amendment, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from wisconsin. ms. moore: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd now like to yield the balance of our time to the gentlelady from illinois, who is the co-chair of the women's caucus. the chair: the gentlewoman has 1 1/2 minutes. ms. schakowsky: i really applaud congresswoman gwen moore for her passionate remarks on behalf of this amendment. in the aries years since the overthrow of the taliban, women in afghanistan have made many strives forward. two women have announced their intention to run for president this year. however, many women in afghanistan continue to fight for the basic human rights, violence against women, rape, forced marriages continue in the country's most unstabled
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regions. we saw images of stone being thrown at women. afghanistan's future will depend on its women, building more stable and healthy and thriving communities. the women of afghanistan have borne the brunt of years of warfare but they'll also form the underpinning of a peaceful afghanistan. this amendment recognizes that limiting the rights of women is counterproductive to all of our efforts to help afghanistan move forward from the devastating damage of taliban rule. i urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up for the women of afghanistan who are suffering, who deserve our help and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from wisconsin. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 15 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. royce: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 15 printed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by mr. royce of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 522, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. chairman, i currently serve as the ranking member of the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism. previously for eight years i chaired the african subcommittee, so i have long followed the issues following the horn of africa. and this particular amendment calls on the secretary of state to designate eritrea as a state
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sponsor of terrorism. the horn of africa is a combustible mix. you have al qaeda, you have piracy, a failed state in somalia, border tensions. and a key instigator of this violence has been the government of eritrea. as the amendment indicates, u.n. report after u.n. report cites eritrea for providing arms and military training to members of the that back and that's an al qaeda-linked group that has been designated by the united states as a foreign terrorist organization. mr. chairman, if you take a look at this picture, which appeared in a u.n. report, this is the actual shabob fighter who shot down a cargo plane with that shoulder-fired missile supplied by eritrea. and the reason we know that is this is the propaganda footage
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used by this al qaeda-linked organization in order to try to recruit fighters to their goal, and they showed the footage of the successful attack on the cargo plane. now, what if that had been a civilian jetliner? how many lives would have been lost? indeed, our f.b.i. is greatly concerned about somali americans who have gone missing from american cities. they are worried that they have gone to somalia and are linking up with these terrorist groups. and it is eritrea that is providing the weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles that can take out an airliner and that are providing this military training. the case for adding eritrea to the state sponsor of terrorism list is compelling. it's even overwhelming. it has been so for sometime. the obama administration's assistant secretary of state for african affairs, johnny carson, has noted that, quote,
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we have clear evidence the eritrea is supporting extremists and that, quote, the government of eritrea continues to supply weapons and munitions to extremists and terrorist elements, unquote. and this isn't new. the previous administration took a similar view of the destructive role that eritrea plays in the horn. some will say that this is counterproductive or the wrong time. well, it has been a delicate time in this region for a decade now and it's goten a whole lot worse. -- gotten a whole loss worse. it is a complex region. one thing is not complex. this is a clear national security threat. u.n. reports have noted that over 100 shabob terrorists have traveled to eritrea for their military training, at an eritrean military base and then traveled back. the same u.n. report have identified eritrea as a principal -- has asserted that these violations take place with the knowled

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