tv [untitled] CSPAN June 11, 2009 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT
the pakistani body politic that the people of pakistan say, well, we are just doing the u.s.'s bidding. we are their lackeys, we are not in control. that's counter to the thinks i think we want to send, the kind of message we want to send to pakistan. this is a very difficult time. this is not just a debate between you, mr. chairman, and the ranking member, and me. this is war and peace. it's the survivibility of pakistan as an independent country. it's winning or losing the war in afghanistan. and we have to remember that pakistan is a nuclear power. . if the taliban is successful in this area, not only will afghanistan go down the tube bus in likelihood, they'll have control of nuclear weapons. i know we have precautions being take ton stop that, but in the event that takes place and we lose control of the nuclear weapons, you've got a real possible conflagration for the whole area in that part of
the world. i'd like to to the chairman, and i hope in conference this is changed that this micromanaging you're doing to try to tell the pakistani military how to manage its business is stopped. mr. berman: this is really just to take what you said, i agree completely with the urgency of it. if i didn't, we don't have a lot of money. i would not be authorizing, we would not be authorizing these sums. we share your sense of the urgency of the situation. secondly, the letter you cite is correct, the letter is not correct, but the existence of the letter is correct. but it was addressed to a bill that had been introduced since the introduction of the bill, we have gone through elaborate negotiations with the house armed services committee to
deal with some issues that letter was concerned about, we have worked through both with the supplemental and others -- mr. burton: may i have another minute or so. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida controls the time. ms. ros-lehtinen: i would love to give the gentleman an additional minute. we don't want to clarify that senator kerry's statements are related to this. mr. burton: let me just say to my colleague, there's something that could be dealt with by nonlegislative means, but you're dealing with that in this bill. it shows there's no trust. a limit on state department funded steants unless pakistan meets certain conditions relating to nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and other issues. mr. berman: good things. mr. burton: i don't understand you. mr. berman: ensuring that the mission that we are equiping
and training for is committed to a counterinsurgency -- not an arms race in south asia. mr. burton: if you read the bill and listen to the debate and listen to what senator kerry says who i -- with whom i don't agree very much, you see there is too much micromanaging. there's a war over there, we should be supporting our ally. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield to someone like the previous speaker, the gentleman from indiana, has spent a great deal of time in pakistan, looking at the situation. she chairs the pakistan caucus. she joined our congressional delegation in pakistan last -- in the month of april and speaks with great knowledge and
experience on this subject. the gentlelady from texas, ms. sheila jackson lee, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank very much the distinguished chairman of the full committee for both his insight and his leadership. and my good friend the subcommittee chairman, mr. ackerman, and my doubly good friend mr. burton, who was just on the floor of the house who shares with me this commitment to pakistan. mr. speaker, the reason why we must go forward today is for the very reason that our colleagues have been addressing themselves to our colleagues, you will. we have a crisis, a dire crisis in pakistan. there is no time for us to quarrel over what really are minimal differences if you will. right now as we speak, 2.5 million people are homeless.
they are fleeing the conflicts in an area that -- area that's been initiated by the pakistani government that's standing not for america but for the freedom of her people. and we must applaud these actions. we must look to the leadership of the president, the leadership of the secretary of state, who has a strong commitment to pakistan and the policy os -- policies of this new government, our government is to recognize pakistan. 1886 is a bill that recognizes comprehensively that we have an equal ally that is fighting against terrorism within their borders. i've been to person what, islamabad, and any number of the sites, visiting with leaders around the nation. i've been to schools that are trying to replace the madrasas.
in this legislation, we have, for example, a pakistan, we have a pakistan development and prosperity fund. just three weeks ago, 100-plus members of the pakistani community met in new york to talk about how they can provide social services to that nation. as we speak, there are medical doctors from the pakistani american community that are leaving their homes here in the united states to go to pakistan to help these refugees. so let us look at the big picture this legislation provides. the prosperity fund, yes there are conditionalities, but i would suggest they are refrained from the issues that the distinguished member in the other body spoke to. and we are going to work even further, but if our colleagues appreciate the fact that there are dire conditions that the pakistani military is fighting the terrorist they will help us pass 1886. this bill refers itself to the nuclear materials and requires
the protecting of those materials. because we want to leave -- do we want to leave that willy nilly? this particular legislation also helps to protect women and girls to provide resources for women and girls. it helps to deradicalize the youth this legislation is a stopgap to the crisis and the emergency. i ask my colleagues to read it this bill should be passed and i yield back to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expire. the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: before yielding time to my distinguished friend from florida, i'd like to clarify that senator kerry was referring to the bill as amended, to the text we are considering today and much reference has been made to the armed services committee, but the armed services minority did not sign off on the bill before us, due to pending concerns. with that, i'm proud to yield five minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, the
ranking member on the armed services subcommittee on terrorism and unconventional threats. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. miller: i thank the ranking member and appreciate you bringing up the fact that our friends on the majority are again talking about the bipartisan efforts that have been made with the armed services committee, all of the extensive gaucheuations that have taken place -- negotiations thaffer taken place. i am the ranking member on the armed services committee, there has been no negotiation with any member of the minority side of the house armed services committee. you know, it sounds like a great thing to support when you look at the bill. at least the title of the bill. but when you start looking at it, reading it, listening to the people who it actually is going to affect, like general david petraeus, who i met at sent come last week and had -- at sent come last week and --
at centcom last week, he said it was it's going to tie our hands and not allow us to do what the military needs to do to train and assist in this issue. nobody has any qualms or quarrels with the majority side saying this is something that needs to be done. the issue is a jurisdictional problem with troords whether state or d.o.d. has input or actually controls what goes on in this program. look, i've been to pakistan and afghanistan three times in the last year. i understand what's going on there. i know how hard the pakistanis are fighting to control what's going on. we need to do what we can do to help with the counterinsurgency problem. even our own president, it's my understanding the president does not support this particular piece of legislation and it has already been said on the floor today that senator kerry does not support this particular piece of legislation
sornings those are the facts. others may not want to necessarily address those facts and say that they are in fact true, but they are. and you know, i heard a member on the floor of the house yesterday trying desperately to get members to understand and believe that foreign service members as a whole are actually on the front lines. look, the state department cannot compel any state department employee to go into a combat zone. this is a d.o.d. issue. this is a counterinsurgency issue. it needs to be in the basket, if you will, of the department of defense. the majority's tendency to use diplomacy for every single thing should not result in a career state department bureaucrat running a military counterinsurgency operation. it just shouldn't be so. as i said, they can't legally come 3el8 their people to go into a combat zone, but what they do is they use money for
programs to fly muslim people from the united states of america to sweden, to talk about issues in regards to islamic outreach, which i have serious concerns with that particular program. but that's the state department and that's what they want to do. i think they probably would have thought that the diplomatic efforts pakistan made in the swat valley was the thing we should have done. it was not something that should have been done. we know the taliban broke the truce real quickly after that was done. but look, the department of state should not be taking the lead in this vital issue. it should be the department of defense and i think that ultimately members of the body on both sides of the aisle understand that. so i urge a defeat of this flawed particular piece of legislation and i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of her time they have gentleman from new york may control the time of the gentleman from california.
the gentleman from new york. >> i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from california, ms. watson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. watson: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today in support of h.r. 1886, the pakistan enduring assistance and cooperation enhancement act of 2009. since president barack obama took the reins of our nation, he has begun to lead us in a new era of foreign policy, based oven the theme, listen, learn, then lead. this bill introduced by chairman berman, is the beginning of this new era of american foreign policy, which will give the president the tools he needs to bring peace and long-lasting stability to pakistan. the peace act authorizes the president to provide assistance
for pakistan to enhance economic development, human rights, cultural and educational programs, the judicial system, and the democratic institutions in order to strengthen civilian rule and long-term stability. this bill does not allow pakistan to use any of this assistance to upgrade or buy new f-16's or upgrade its nuclear arsenal. the reporting requirements in the peace act provide the necessary oversight provisions which require pakistan's government and the obama administration to inform congress on the progress and uses of our assistance and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1886 and i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i reserve the balance or our time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. >> mr. speaker, i'm pleased at this time to yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. connolly: i rise in support of h.r. 1886, the pakistan enduring assistance and cooperation act and congratulate mr. berman for his leadership. s that national security bill. it provides assistance to help pakistan disrupt al qaeda and the taliban and requires that the majority of the assistance be focused on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts. the legislation includes accountability measures for military assistance, including a requirement that the government of pakistan show a sustained commitment to combating terrorism. it alies their gells with ours, it provides military aid on the
condition that pakistan cooperate in dismantling nuclear supply networks and fighting terrorist groups. the bill will not provide funding for pakistan to build its forces in the eastern border with india, as the real threat lies on the western border. the bill would bar the use of military financing to buy or upgrade f-16 fighter jets with the exception of money to finish a 2006 deal. i understand the concerns about pakistan's fighting terrorism, i have concerns about their nuclear arsenal and its past history of proliferation. this is why at my request, the report language accompanying this bill specifically mentioned the a.q. kahne proliferation network as a source of information in the united states and we must have access to him because they have not interviewed him. cleeshly recent events in valley demonstrate stability in the region is not just an american concern. we must move ahead with clear
expectations and goals as this bill enumerates to ensure that usaid is being used in the most effective manner possible. ultimately this will benefit both the pakistani people and strategic efforts, this bill does that. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. before yielding to my good friend from texas, i'd like to note this is supposed to be a national security bill yet the majority tagged on a trade bill to it and under the bill attaches it to the state bill. i am now proud to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. braidy the ranking member on the ways and means subcommittee on trade. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. brady: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition with the last minute of the pakistan opportunities zone bill. while i commend congressman van
hollen for his commitment to this very important legislation, i'm concerned the bill fails to encourage significant investment in the afghan and pakistan regions under the trade program. i say that as a person who thinks that trade can lift themselves up out of poverty. unfortunately, i believe this will discourage economic investment -- development investment because it includes some dangerous eligibility criteria that will drive away investment and require each firm, including u.s. firms there to meet labor standards that could exceed u.s. law in such a way that will create a dangerous precedent that can be applied to our own free trade agreements making u.s. labor laws vulnerable to challenge from foreign countries. the scope of the eligible products in the bill, unfortunately, have been willed down. i know there are difficult
negotiations to try to broaden that. and it provides fee uncertain pakistan products in return for sales of others. again, sort of a tradeoff that's been difficult to swallow. i'm concerned that this measure, despite its excellence intentions and, ain, very hard work from congressman van hollen, will fall short of its objectives in bringing economic stability to this very difficult region. i'd point out to -- you know, we are doing a lot to open up america to foreign countries. we've had six votes to open up america to foreign sales. but no votes to open up countries to what we sell. it's not enough to buy american. we need to sell american products throughout the world. and in this economic recession, we have three pending trade agreements that would allow us to sell $11 billion of american products around the world to create jobs here in the united states that are being held up, not brought to a vote on the floor. we need to get our priorities right.
as we help lift countries up, let's lift american jobs up as well. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas' time has expired. the gentlelady from florida reserves the balance of her time. without objection, the gentleman from california reclaims his time from the gentleman from new york. mr. berman: thank you. mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield to the ranking member of the terrorism nonproliferation and trade subcommittee of the foreign affairs committee, a co-sponsor of the legislation and another member of the congressional delegation that went to pakistan last month. in fact, everybody who went to pakistan last month with me is supporting this bill. i should have taken more people. three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. royce: i rise in support of this legislation. there are a few points we need to keep in mind. the first is that pakistan is a
tender box. its government is very weak. social and economic trends are moving in the wrong direction, and that is fostering extremism. the pakistan government has killed many militants over the last few weeks, but the insurgency remains potent. and clearly pakistan is going to be troubled for sometime. second, this is the center, this region of international terrorism and most importantly pakistan has a growing nuclear arsenal. now, we can either stay engaged and try to shape events or go to the sidelines and see a bad situation become a possible disaster. now, third, to date pakistan has taken us for a ride. since 9/11 we've provided it with some $12.3 billion. we spent billions before that. i've been to pakistan a number of times. i have seen what's happened without conditions. i've also seen the need there. a school that i visited in the northwest frontier has now been blown up and replaced --
madrasah now educates kids there in jihad. i've been to the regions where this militancy has to be confronted. so little has improved without conditions. and there's been significant waste and corruption. so this legislation is the proposal we have with the best conditions. it best conditions that aid. it takes the position that while we must work with the pakistani government, our experience demands greater accountability from that government. no blank checks that the pakistan government denounces this bill conditions frankly should be a selling point. i do have, however, have one significant reservation. the trade provision that the rules committee majority added to this bill issue window dressing. as this bill goes to conference with the senate, as the process continues, this trade provision must be liberalized, increasing trade should be an important goal.
in short, the situation in pakistan is dire, and with its nuclear arsenal, the stakes could not be any higher. we need all the accountability we can get, and that's why i support this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm so proud to yield three minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, the ranking member on the committee on ways and means. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. mr. camp: thank you. i thank the gentlewoman for yielding. i strongly oppose h.r. 1886. in particular, language inserted at the rules committee to create a new but poorly designed a trade preference program for afghanistan and pakistan. while i would support a well-designed system to create jobs and spur economic development, this legislation is deeply flawed. first, it brings virtually no economic benefit, because the product mix is stingy.
an economic fig leaf that should fool no one. my second objection is even more fundamental. while the bill is light on commercial benefits, it is heavy on intrusive, impractical labor requirements that could exceed u.s. law. now, i very much support improving labor conditions, but these new unnecessarily onerous labor criteria would impede investment and won't improve labor conditions. specifically, this legislation requires the secretary of labor to designate any entity to conduct firm level inspections in afghanistan and pakistan to ensure compliance with, quote, core labor standards. even an n.g.o. hostile to trade, this vague language subjects firms to arbitrary standards that could exceed u.s. law. i repeat, that could exceed u.s. law. given the dire security situation there, having inspectors go from door to
door, even cottage to cottage to enforce such standards strains credibility. moreover, these -- this standard exceeds the labor provisions in other preference programs. and even our trade agreements negotiated under the bipartisan may 10 standard for f.t.a.'s, both lotted by the speaker and chairman rangel. it could be viewed as a precedent to justify the inclusion of similar language, not only a new trade agreements but perhaps in efforts to revise existing ones which would, of course, apply to us as well leaving the united states vulnerable to challenges that our labor laws don't meet this standard. i'm also concerned about the pay for. for every dollar of duty relief that reconstruction opportunity zone exports from these countries receive, other pakistani and afghan exports have to pay at least that amount in increased fees making these countries potentially worse off than they are right now.
lastly, i'm disappointed that this is my first opportunity to explain my concerns. this bill was not even considered by the ways and means committee which, again, it's not about the committee. but, again, this denies the american people their voice. this is not the return to regular order we were promised by the speaker, and i fear this is not the last time this month i'll be on the floor raising that concern. the provision also subverts the prerogatives out of the house by turning an aid bill into a revenue measure. right for mischief when it gets to the other side of the capitol. because of all of this, i strongly oppose the legislation in its current form. i urge my colleagues to vote against the measure, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan's time has expired. the gentlelady from florida reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: yes, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield two
minutes to the principal co-sponsor of the legislation, the gentleman from illinois, mr. kirk. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. kirk: thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to praise the chairman and his team for putting together a bipartisan bill regarding our assistance to pakistan. this is a very critical region for the united states, and assistance is authorized under this legislation and necessary. but as was stated before, when colin powell called the president of pakistan right after september 11 he offered a choice, you're either with us or against us, and president musharraf picked well. under that arrangement we did provide $12 billion to pakistan, but largely without strings attached. and the pakistani effort against the militants, especially in the frontier autonomous region was initially aggressive but then petered out. the united states was providing $16 million a month to the pakistani military, but after
2005 was receiving little benefit. under the new government that is unquestionably a democratic government i think we have a more stable partner to deal with in the war on terror, specifically in what the pentagon would call the al qaeda core. with this new government really representing the essence of the pakistani middle class we now take on their true aspirations in which the central issue for the long term is not a nuclear competition with india but how quickly pakistan is falling behind india's rising economic growth. in that view then a bunch of radicals ruining the economic and business climate of pakistan is a mortal danger to the future income of pakistanis. on that basis a war on terror is soundly grounded in democracy, in the pakistani middle class, and the joint
interest of the united states. but this bill reflects what we have learned over the last five years that strings should be attached, that earmarks -- that benchmarks should be established, that we should have accountability in that very difficult part of the world. i'll also praise this bill because it's probably the only free trade bill this congress will adopt. and it represents a true bipartisan will that will help add to the employment of pakistan and stability of that country. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i continue to reserve, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. chairman, when you -- i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the vice chair of the subcommittee on terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation and international trade of the foreign affairs committee, the gentleman from georgia, mr.
scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. chairman, thank you very much. this is really the most critical, the most important piece of legislation facing us right now. the situation in pakistan is very ten with us. it is a -- tenuous. it is very critical. we have before us a very significant piece of legislation that has been expertly crafted. yes, trade is a part of it because trade is important at this time to make sure that we are able to help sustain the economy of pakistan at this very critical time. pakistan is in a fragile situation. military aid is in here. yes, because pakistan needs this. but we have the safeguards here because let me just -- the other side mentioned something the other -- a little while back about the department of defense and their role. let us go back,