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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 10, 2009 4:30pm-5:00pm EDT

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spoke about and others, why not give this authority. i urge the amendment be adopted. and we change the law to remove this restriction, which to me, doesn't make much sense. the chair: the gentleman yield back? mr. berman: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from illinois. mr. kirk: i appreciate the chairman's work. when we first saw how this restriction could impede the hunt for the two top al qaeda terrorists, ayman zawahiri and osama bin laden, for a poorly paid official, and there are many who are patriotic good servants in afghanistan and pakistan especially, we ought to be able to offer this reward. this will significantly incentivize the hunt for some of the people who killed the most americans. i urge adoption. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from illinois.
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those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mr. kirk: i would ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from illinois will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 20 printed in part c. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. lynch: i have an amendment at the desk that has been made in order by the rule and i ask for its immediate consideration. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 20 printed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by mr. lynch of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 522 the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. limple, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: thank you, madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is
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recognized. mr. lynch: before i begin, madam speaker, i'd like to thank foreign affairs committee chairman berman foring can my amendment and i congratulate the committee for drafting a bill that i think will truly strengthen our foreign affairs profile overseas. as well as strengthen our capabilities. i rise in support of my amendment which will direct the state department to assess and report to congress on the special immigration visa program for certain iraqi and afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the united states in both afghanistan and iraq. as a member of the house oversight committee and a member of its national security and foreign affairs subcommittee, i've been to iraq and afghanistan on numerous occasions and i've had the pleasure of meeting with some of the brave iraqi and afghan workers who actually serve right beside our own men and women in
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uniform as interpreters and assistants in the military operations and also the civil operations that are going on in both those countries. extremely dangerous work. and they do deserve incredible recognition for taking a very difficult position in aiding our troops and their mission. and they are deserving of our admiration. there is a sad truth, however, that in choosing to support u.s. forces in iraq and in afghanistan to rebuild their countries, they're also putting their lives on the line and those of their families. the insurgents in iraq and in afghanistan have targeted these hardworking patriots and their families in hopes of terrorizing the local people and discouraging cooperation. it is because of this very real danger that congress created the
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section 1059 and 12 4 special immigrant visa programs and they allow for certain iraqis and afghans to actually serve as translators. these are folks who are protecting our young men and women in uniform as translators or interpreters or otherwise employed by the u.s. or as contractors to come to the united states to escape the targeting by these terrorists and insurgents. i am aware that the state department prepared a study of these programs in july, 2008, but i believe it is necessary, actually, to follow up on this previous study in light of the troubling reports that i received earlier this year. i was informed by our state department folks in iraq and in afghanistan and i was informed by the commander of u.s. forces in iraq that they are still dealing with unclear eligibility requirements and that they're having difficulty processing these iraqis with visas.
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they are -- and they are facing long processing times which have worked to the detriment of these individuals and also hampered our efforts to recruit others to take their place. with wait times up to a year, these applicants are in constant danger while their applications are sorted out and i think we owe it to these brave men and women for doing the right thing to ensure that any delays are only as long as are absolutely necessary. through this study we'll be able to determine the root causes of these difficulties and then based on the findings, congress can act to ensure that these programs are run efficiently and effectively while protecting the applicants' lives and our national security. and our men and women in uniform. i urge my colleagues to support both this amendment and the underlying bill. i thank you, mr. chairman, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise?
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ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. claiming time in opposition, madam chair. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. i thank the gentleman from massachusetts for his helpful and constructive amendment and i rise in support of this amendment and i had the opportunity to travel to these areas with the gentleman a few years back. madam chair, the congress has recognized the debt owed to iraqi and afghans who work at great personal risk in support of our troops and responded by creating two special immigrant visas, s.i.v. programs. one, an s.i.v. program for iraqi and afghani translators and interpreters and, a second s.i.v. program for contractors and their families along with providing refugee resettlement benefits. hour, as of 2008 report by the state department inspector general stated, the current process resulted in applicants receiving s.i.v.'s who, one, did
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not meet the program's criteria of working primarily as an interpreter or translator or, two, in the o.i.g. team's opinion, appear to be outside the legislative intent of the program. as a result, a number of s.i.v.'s that could have been allocated to other qualified applicants were not. this amendment seeks to address a number of those issues by requiring our state department to, among other actions, develop clear guidance on eligibility for adjudicaters, maintain a high level of vigilance due to the high level of fraud and abuse and many other items. i again thank the gentleman from massachusetts, i urge my colleagues to support this vital and important amendment and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: madam speaker, at this point i would like to yield the balance of my time to the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, mr. berman.
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the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: thank you, madam chairwoman, and i rise to join the ranking member in supporting very strongly the amendment from the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch. we have, i think, a general obligation to deal with the issue of the refugees as a consequence of these conflicts both in iraq and in afghanistan. but we have a particularly strong duty to deal with the status of people who were displaced or objects were persecution or retribution or retaliation because those individuals helped either our military or our diplomats or our a.i.d. people in terms of the conflict in either one of those countries. this is an issue that i personally was very involved with in the last couple of years.
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the gentleman's amendment, i think, helps to spur us to deal with some of the problems in the program now and to do more in this regard and it's certainly an amendment that if it is passed, i would want to see in the final legislation and urge its adoption. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question now occurs on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those 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 21 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. berman: i would like to call up the hill amendment as designee. i have an amendment of his, i have an amendment made in order by the rule and i ask for its immediate consideration.
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the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 21 printed in part c of house report 1111-143 offered by mr. berman of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 522, the gentleman from california, mr. berman, and opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i thank the chairwoman and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: i'm operating as a designee for our colleague, baron hill, and i strongly support the amendment that is before the body now. it requires the state department in cooperation with other departments and agencies to report on how best to use government funds to reduce alien smuggling and trafficking in persons. the state department estimates that 800,000 people are trafficked across borders around the world in deplorable and
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inhumane conditions. while millions more are trafficked within their own countries and of these, 80% are women and girls. half are minors and human smuggling continues to be a significant law enforcement challenge in the international community and remains a particular problem for us and our southern border with mexico. the united states became a party to the united nations smuggling protocol in 2005, continues to work with other governments committing substantial resources to end human smuggling and providing victims from the par louis journeys -- par less journeys, protecting victims from the par ilous journeys involved in this enterprise. some 112 countries are now party to the smuggling protocol. mr. chairman, in order to more effectively tackle the growing and worrisome problems of human smuggling and trafficking, i support the gentleman's amendment and i reserve the balance of my time.
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the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: claiming time in opposition. although the amendment urges the executive branch to undertake assessments that i hope are already going into the administration's policymaking, i do not oppose this amendment. all of us are, of course, opposed to alien smuggling, trafficking persons and terrorists entry -- entering the united states and believe that u.s. efforts to fight those grave problems should be cost effective. thus i support the amendment's call for a report on this subject and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i have no further requests for time and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is now on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those 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 22 printed in part c of house report 111-143.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. peters: madam speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 22 printed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by mr. peters of michigan. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 522, the gentleman from michigan, mr. peters, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. peters: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. peters: today we are considering important legislation that will support efforts to strengthen, modernize and rebuild the capacity of the department of state to fulfill its core diplomatic mission. this legislation will also increase the arms control and nonproliferation capabilities of the state department and reform the system of export controls for military technology and improve oversight of u.s. security assistance abroad. as we expand our diplomatic
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capabilities, we must remember that trade is the driving force of both our economy and our international diplomacy. in december, 2004, congress passed the western hemisphere travel initiative. as of june 1, 2009, this initiative now requires the travelers have passports for all land and sea crossings, including travel to and from canada and mexico. we need to know exactly how these new passport requirements are affecting our economy. obviously prudent security measures must be undertaken to keep americans safe, but we must -- but we also need to assess whether these measures are working and how they affect border state businesses and my amendment will require such an assessment. congress can then determine whether corrective action is needed to change the requirements and provide relief to border state business or both. the peters' amendment would require the secretary of state to submit to congress within 18
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months of passage of this act a report on the hemisphere travel initiative on the flow of people, goods and services across international borders of the united states, canada, mexico, bermuda and the caribbean region. the amendment stipulates the report should pay specific attention to the affects on small businesses and the measure's effectiveness in strengthening border security. increasing the security of our borders must be a top priority for congress. we must also ensure that implementation of the western hemisphere travel initiative is carried out in a manner that increases our national security but does not unnecessarily hinder trade and strain our small businesses. our nation's fight through our 'session is particularly important that we assess the effect measured by this economy have on our economy. i greatly appreciate the support of my friend and colleague from new mexico, congressman teague, for his office's assistance on this important amendment and
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help on issues of importance to both our northern and southern border regions and i urge my colleagues to support my amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam chair. i ask unanimous consent to claim time in opposition, even though i do not oppose the substance. amendment. the chair: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam chair. i support this amendment because the western hemisphere travel initiative was fully implemented in june 1 of this year with the goal of strengthening u.s. border security while at the same time enhancing accountability of those entering our country. by calling on the secretary of state to provide a report to congress describing the impact this implementation has had on the flow of people, goods and services across the international borders shared by the relevant countries, congressman peters' amendment will help us understand better how effective this initiative has been in making our country
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safer and what impact these new measures will have on the business sectors of our countries. the western hemisphere of travel initiative was a significant step toward making america more secure. congressman peters' amendment is important as it would provide greater accountability and oversight of the objectives and consequence of this important initiative and will ultimately help us protect the interests and the safety of the american people and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from michigan. . mr. peters: my amendment asks to report to congress in timely manner. it must be implemented in a way that strengthens our national security, maintains robust trade and tourism with our neighbors
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and protects our nation' small businesses. i would like to thank foreign affairs committee chairman berman and rules committee chairwoman slaughter. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to.
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the chair: it is now in order to consider amendment number 23 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. berman: madam chair, as designee i have an amendment made in order by the rule and i ask for its immediate consideration. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 23 printed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by mr. army and of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 5 2, the gentleman from california, mr. berman and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. berman: and i yield one minute.
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the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. titus: i rise today in strong support of the teague-titus-giffords amendment. this new program will strengthen research educational exchange and international cooperation with the aim of promoting the development and deployment of clean and efficient energy technologies. the development of next generation solar, wind, geothermal, carbon capture and storage and other clean energy technologies that will reduce our dependens on foreign oil is going to take cooperative efforts from every corner of the world. our amendment provides much needed support for exchange programs dedicated to developing clean energy and energy-initiate technologies. these exchange programs between the united states and other countries will be available to
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teachers, students and entrepreneurs. in addition to promoting the development and deployment of clean energy technology, this exchange program will help address issues of energy poverty in the developing countries and extend the reach of america's clean energy technologies and innovation that could be beneficial to developing countries. thank you. and i urge its passage. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent to claim time in opposition, even though i do not oppose the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: while i am concerned by this proliferation of exchange-related authorization earmarks in the underlying bill which circumscribe the discretion of states' educational and affairs bureau in deciding how to allow our exchange resources, i do not oppose this amendment. i support efforts to use our educational and exchange
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resources to help support the development of clean and efficient energy sources. and i appreciate the fact that this amendment does not include a specific authorization amount. therefore, i support the amendment. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: madam chair, i yield the balance of the time to the sponsor of the amendment and leave it with the gentleman from new mexico, mr. teague. the chair: the gentleman from new mexico is recognized. mr. teague: i do have an amendment at the desk and i guess it has already been read. the chair: the gentleman is recognized in support of his amendment. mr. teague: madam chairwoman, i'm an old man. but one thing that i learned as an oil man is no matter where you go roorned the world, when you visit oil and gas-producing areas, you mostly find america
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companies and american technologies, american equipment and of course americans. america is the pride of the oil patch. over the years that position has served us well. it creates wealth and jobs in our country and has been the basis for america's leadership in global economy. but the world is changing where before other nations could not compete with our economic mithe, now they can. and where before the hydrocarbons were the only solution to the world's energy needs, it no longer is. america will continue to lead the world in production of oil and natural gas, but must also lead the world in the production of renewable energy. america will be stronger if we lead tevelopment of new ways to capture wind energy. america will be wealth ier if we
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produce energy from the sun. most americans will have good paying jobs if it is american ingenuity behind the production of new biofuels around the world. the teague-titus-giffords amendment creates the program to strengthen research, educational exchange and international cooperation with the aim of promoting the development and deployment of clean and efficient american energy technologies around the world. our amendment will mean that professors, researchers, entrepreneurs and small business owners can travel to other nations to show people there the renewable energy products, technology and expertise that america has developed. and when those nations decide to make investments in renewable energy, i imagine they will turn
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to the technologies, products and expertise that we introduced to them in the first place. this amendment is about enhancing america's leadership in the renewable energy field. it's about creating markets for american goods. it's about creating profits for american companies. it's about creating jobs for american workers. i thank chairman berman for his support and i thank chairwoman slaughter for allowing this amendment to be debated on the floor. i urge my colleagues to support the amendment. and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question 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 ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider
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amendment number 24 printed in part c of house report 111-143. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? ms. johnson: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 24 printed in part c of house report 111-143 offered by ms. johnson. the chair: the gentlelady from texas, ms. johnson, and a member opposed will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from texas. ms. johnson: let me thank the chair and ranking member of the committee on foreign affairs for their hard work on this document and the privilege for offering this amendment. i rise to claim the time in support of my amendment that would provide assistance for afghan women legislators. the amendment would create a program in the state department to support exchanges between the afghanistan and united states for women legislators, expand
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afghan women's participation in exchange programs at the department of state and promote the advancement of women in the field of politics with the aim of encouraging more women to participate in the civil society. this program would give female lawmakers, the national assembly of afghanistan new opportunities to improve their political and administrative skills and to identify and mentor other future qualified women interested in leadership in the public service. a new generation of leaders is helping to pave the way to consolidate and secure a stable democracy in afghanistan. afghan women legislators are helping to forge this path and already have contributed significantly to the development of the country's democratic institutions. these legislateors face a unique challenge in navigating their path in the political system because of their gender.
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additionally, many obstacles stand in the way of the status of females, including violence against women and personal freedom of movement. giving current challenges of women and rising insecurities, the afghan women legislateors can benefit from increased professional and leadership development. the u.s. and the international community must ensure that afghan women can safely and effectively exercise their rights as citizens. this amendment would also open additional possibilities to take part in an international visitors' program and train through the state department, which already maintains a similar program to encourage women in leadership in other countries. this would be paid through the customary means for professional exchanges by the state's bureau of educational and cultral affairs. taking part in such programs would not only train current
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legislators but encourage more women to participate in afghan civil society. exchange programs such as these can help raise the awareness of democratic values. these goals are consistent with the national security objectives for afghanistan and represent an effective use of our public diplomacy resources. i urge all of my colleagues to support the benefit of international, cultral and vote yes on this amendment. and i reserve the balance of my time. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent to claim time in opposition, even though i do not object. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i rise in support of the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. the women of afghanistan have taken great strides since the fall of the taliban to fully take part in all aspects of their society. women have realized significant gains in the last several years. however, many remains to be

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