tv [untitled] CSPAN June 10, 2009 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
authorization of senior officials within the eritrean government. plainly, it is state policy of eritrea to support international terrorism. the u.n.
security council made similar statements saying their destructive role in the horn. so have many neighboring countries. and so it is time that eritrea should be named a state sponsor of terrorism. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. payne: i claim the time in opposition. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. payne: the foreign relations authorization act, which the royce amendment would designate eritrea the state sponsor of terrorism and call on the united nations security council to impose sanctions against eritrea i strongly oppose. while i certainly respect my esteemed colleague from california, ed royce, who served
as an excellent chairman of the subcommittee on africa for several years and we worked closely together on many issues
and i have a great deal of respect, i must oppose this amendment. this amendment could undermine critical engagements currently going on between the u.s. and eritrea. i urge my colleagues to vote no. the royce amendment expresses the sense of congress that the secretary of state should designate eritrea a state sponsor of terrorism and that the u.n. security council should impose sanctions against eritrea. i urge you to vote against this amendment r the following reasons. first, some of the assertions made in the amendment are factually wrong and dated. second, the g.o. politics and the dynamics and interstate rivalries in the horn of africa cannot be addressed properly without concerted diplomatic engagement.
declaring eritrea a state sponsor of terrorism and imposing international sanctions would do nothing to further our diplomatic aims and would impose further hardship on the people who are struggling to survive on a daily basis. clearly while mr. royce's amendment lays out a long list of reasons why he feels eritrea should be placed on the state sponsor of terrorist list, the proposed amendment does not recognize the diplomatic efforts currently going underway by the state department to address the complex issues surrounding the horn of africa. just last month eritrea president sent a letter to president obama expressing the desire to engage on these issues and sending a high dell-level delegation to washington. a senior state department official is expected to visit in a few weeks. moreover, the somali government has said they want to engage.
lastly, putting eritrea on a sanctions list would put limited efforts on our behalf and our behalf to try to stabilize the region and build alliances with governments in a widing battle against extremism. we should urge the administration to take careful note of the issues raised by representative royce and i have written a letter to the president to that affect. the administration is engaging. we must allow these diplomatic discussions to continue. my last trip a year ago i met with the president and did indicate changes that would have to be made. the current president of somalia was ins a mara and went back and is now trying to lead a government which is fighting
against al qaeda and so at in this time i think that this amendment would disrupt sensitive diplomatic issues that are going on and urge my colleagues to vote against the royce amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: thank you. let me respond. first of all, that i have a great deal of respect for chairman payne. we worked together for years on africa issues. we worked together on darfur, sudan, but this is the very issue why we disagree here. because all members should know that it was eritrea that was the first country to invite sudan's president to visitor tria following an arrest warrant for his crimes against humanity in darfur. now, with respect to the issue, i can think of numerous issues
and times when congress has had to push and would take sudan an example, since the example i'm giving here is an example in which eritrea has welcomed al-bashir, at a time when the international community is trying to get him to prevent the crimes he's committed in darfur, we have had to push to take more assertive actions. we did that with genocide in sudan. and if my view, there's nothing wrong now, especially with respect to its state sponsorship of terrorism. i think that the assistant secretary of state for africa's words speak for themselves. again, this is secretary carson, before the senate foreign relations committee last month in which he said, we have clear evidence that eritrea is supporting these extremist elements, including that they continue to supply weapons, and ammunitions to terrorist elements. i ask for a aye vote. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the question now is on the
amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. royce: in that case, madam speaker, i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed.
the chair: the gentleman from california. >> do i move that the committee rise. the chair: the committee rise. the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. accordingly the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: madam chair. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the house on the whole union directs me to report it has come to no resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee of the
whole house on state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2410 and has come to no resolution throne -- thereon. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that during further consideration of h.r. 2410, pursuant to house resolution 522, it may be in order to consider amendment number 17 after amendment number 27. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of the bill, h.r. 2410, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: h.r. 2410, a bill to authorize appropriations for the department of state and the peace corps for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, to modernize the foreign service and for other purposes. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today a request for a record the vote on amendment number 15 by the gentleman from california, mr. royce, had been postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 16 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. meeks: i have an amendment at the desk and ask for consideration. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 16 precipitationed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by mr. meeks of new york. the chair: pursuant to house
resolution 522, the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. meeks: thank you, madam chair. i rise today with an important amendment to h.r. 2410, the foreign relations authorization act for fiscal years 2010, 2011. we here in the united states understand all too well that it takes more than just passing laws to ensure equal access to prosperity. it took decades of constant pressure and struggle to get the legal right to full participation of african-americans in our american democracy. yet we realize that our work is far from over in our great nation. racial discrimination is a sobering reality both here in the united states and in the rest of the world. we understand that we cannot throw stones from a glass house. but instead we must work with -- work in a tandem with our neighbors to ensure that all citizens in our hemisphere are unfettered by discriminatory practices now and the vestiges of those practices of the past. it is in our interest to work
toward a more equal hemisphere and we are all at risk if our citizens do not have full faith in the strength of democracy to provide upward mobility. the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. put it best when he said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. afro latinos face a long-standing struggle against racial discrimination and a lack of opportunities. afro latinos make up approximately 150 million of the region's 540 million total population and awill will long with women and indigenous populations are among the poorest, most marginalized groups in the region. people of african descent comprise a significant amount of the population in several latin american countries and are 50% of the region's poor. for many descendents, endemic poverty exacerbated by isolation, exclusion and racial discrimination in. in brazil, of a ro latinos are
45% of the population but constitute 49% of the poor. in columbia, the plight of afro columbians is harshest as they are all too often caught in the crossfire of violent conflict. congress previously supported the united states-brazil joint action plan against racial discrimination and house resolution 1254 and called for both the united states and brazil to promote equality and they continued to work toward eliminating racial discrimination. the joint action plan helps to facilitate the exchange of information on the best practices of anti-discrimination measures and development of ideas on how to bilaterally promote racial and ethnic equality. with this amendment we request that the secretary clinton report on plans and efforts to address the plight of afro latinos and indigenous peoples in the western hemisphere and we also request a report on the status of the u.s.-brazil joint action plan so that we can gain a greater understanding of how to increase our collaboration on similar initiatives and i retain
the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? >> claiming time in opposition, madam chair. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. . it reck nyes the commitment of our government to promote quality and opportunity. it underscores promotion of human rights in order to maintain peace, democracy and prosperity in the region. the united states' commitment to freedom and equality is long-standing. this joint action plan between our two countries helps to further these values throughout the hemisphere. mr. meeks' amendment requires the secretary of state to report on the progress of these important bilateral efforts under the action plan. this report will help to bring
accountability and greater oversight to the objectives and to the goals of this important joint effort between the united states and brazil. i thank congressman meeks for his flukes of this amendment. and i urge my colleagues to support it. the chair: the gentlelady yield back? ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. meeks: i yield one minute to the the gentleman from georgia, mr. scott. mr. scott: first of all, i would like to commend mr. meeks, the gentleman from new york, for his long service in this area of bringing attention to bringing equality to the cultures of central america, south america and latin america. he is to be commended. madam speaker, the united states and brazil are strong partners with a common history and ancestry that unfortunately includes experiences of slavery, racism and discrimination against citizens of african
heritage. still the united states and brazil under the joint action plan are looking to learn from each other's experiences in order to combat racism and promote equality and education, culture, health and sports. madam speaker, because combating racism and discrimination requires constant dill gans, i support the gentleman's amendment which would move towards that end. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york. mr. meeks: how much time do i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman has one minute remaining. mr. meeks: let me just say i thank you -- i want to give you good progress that has been made in latin america. dixon became the first black woman to head the panama supreme court. and another member of the supreme court. moreno is the first colombian to
serve in the presidential cabinet. and in he can what door, more than 100 black women sought more government assistance for housing to combat racial discrimination. we are in this together and can accomplish this together. and i thank the gentlelady who is the ranking member on the committee for supporting this as well as the chair of the committee. and i yield back. the chair: the the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor say aye. opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 18 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does gentlelady from arizona rise? mr. kirk: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment.
the clerk: amendment number 18 printed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by ms. kirkpatrick of arizona . the chair: the gentlelady from arizona, ms. kirkpatrick and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from arizona. mr. kirk: thank you, madam chairwoman. over the past year-and-a-half we witnessed record levels of violence along our southwest border. since the beginning of 2008, over 7,500 people have died as drug cartels have fought over trafficking routes between mexico and the united states. as the fighting has continued in mexico, those of us who live in border states have seen our communities threatened. many communities in my home state of arizona have seen gang violence on the rise and the state now leads the nation in
both kid nappings and identity theft, an increase that is directly linked to illegal activity along the border. our local law enforcement is doing a great job combating crime. but they cannot take on the cartels alone. they need the federal government to do its job. the criminal organizations that smuggle people and drugs into the united states, bringing this high level of crime into our homes are fueled by the southbound flow of illegal arms and cash. arms illegally carried to mexico are the weapons of choice for cartels. while it is money streaming in from the united states that funds their massive armies. this bill calls on the president
to report to congress on the activities of the initiative. among the matters covered by this report is the assessment of united states' efforts to prevent the southbound flow of illegal arms. however, it does not currently include any assessment of our efforts to prevent the movement of cash. the illegal movement of people, drugs, weapons and money are entirely linked together. and it is impossible to address one of those issues without tackling the rest. therefore, i offer this amendment to include an assessment of united states' efforts to stem the stream of cash heading south into mexico. the cartels are continually finding new and innovative ways
to transport funds. and our government needs to be at least as creative if these organizations are going to be stopped. madam chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. ms. ros-lehtinen: claiming time in opposition. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: the initiative is a historic opportunity to cooperate with our democratic partners in the region against narco trafficking and organized crime. requiring comprehensive reporting on u.s. actions and the consequences of such are essential, not only to ensuring oversight, but also to ensuring our efforts are effective, and indeed, long lasting. congresswoman kirkpatrick's amendment works to include a review of the illegal southbound flow of cash under that
reporting. i believe we should oversee north in addition to southbound flows of cash across our borders. only through a comprehensive approach and understanding of what we are facing can we truly be successful. i support the gentlelady's amendment. and i congratulate her for offering it. and i would be most honored to yield to our distinguished chairman. mr. berman: i thank my ranking member for yielding. i want to add my support. the fact is, i had a chance to go to mexico city and the gentlelady from arizona is absolutely right, the guns are one issue, but the huge amounts of cash that are transported are another. and her amendment makes what i think are some good provisions in this legislation on strengthening the initiative even better and i urge its adoption. ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from
arizona. mr. kirk: madam chairwoman, i thank the chairman and ranking member for their help with this amendment. i ask my colleagues to support this amendment that addresses the key part of the fight against key drug trafficking organizations and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 19 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. kirk: i have an amendment the speaker pro tempore: chearment the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 19, offered by mr. kirk of illinois. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 522, the gentleman from illinois, mr. kirk, and a
member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. kirk: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kirk: i thank chairman berman and ranking member ros-lehtinen for their bipartisan work on this for a good underlying bill in my view as well. this amendment will assist in our fight against terrorism across the globe, especially in pakistan and afghanistan. currently, the terrorists reward program run by the state department assists in our hunt for terrorists by promising a cash reward or other type of assistance for information leading to the arrest of some of the world's most deadly terrorists. the rewards for justice program established by the 1984 act to combat international terrorism has now paid over $77 million to more than 50 people who have provided credible information to put terrorists behind bars and
prevent acts of trim. as a staff member, i helped write the amendment that president clinton asked for when we wanted to offer rewards for persons indicted for war crimes. we also passed legislation under chairman hyde that loosened up this program so we could provide more cash assistance to people who may not be able to read in very rural parts of central asia. the program has been the key to success in apprehending people, including a terrorist who murdered two c.i.a. employees and injured three others in his 1993 rampage outside of c.i.a. headquarters in virginia. the program was also important in nailing yussef convicted of the 1993 world trade center building and the two hussein
brothers, a libian, convicted on january 31, 2001, for the murder of 270 people on pan am flight 103, the leader of a.s.g., a member of saddam hussein's top baath party leadership, a former official military commander and number 41 on the iraq top 55 wanted list. under current law, though, the united states may not pay a reward to an officer or employee of another government. i traveled to pakistan in each of the last four years where i met a number of government officials and at the strong suggestion of the fairly poorly paid, especially i.b. intelligence burros, i believe
the secretary of state should be allowed to pay such a reward, especially if it has to deal with nailing the greatest terrorists. if there is anyone anywhere working for anyone who has information related to the whereabouts of osama bin laden or ayman zawahiri, we should be doing everything possible to elicit that information. as secretary clinton and secretary gates, general petraeus execute the president's new strategy for afghanistan and pakistan, we should do everything we can to develop a complete picture of where the al qaeda and taliban leadership is hiding. this amendment provides our key state department intelligence officials with every possible tool that they could have to make sure they can offer a reward, even if that person, for example, works for the pakistan i.b. bureau. in the past congress, the house overwhelmingly passed this amendment 419-1 but did not pass
the senate. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. berman: i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition to this amendment, although i am not opposed. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: as the gentleman said and i agree with every word that he said in support of his amendment. i'm not sure i could have pronounced every word as well as he did, but this is simply a discretionary authorization that the secretary of state, usually in extraordinary circumstances, to do something which makes perfect sense, to take advantage of the possibility that a foreign national might under circumstances and particularly with a reward mind, provide information of tremendous value in capturing target terrorists that we are pursuing. the ones tt