This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

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Last Updated:3/20/00
Statement by Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, January 11, 2000

Speaker Welcomes Administration's Colombian Aid Proposal

January 11, 2000

Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) today released the following statement:

"I welcome the Administration's announcement that they intend to present the Congress a plan to address the growing crisis in Colombia - a problem that is growing increasingly worse, not better.

"I've been very concerned about the growing cooperation between Colombia's insurgent groups and illegal drug cartels and their impact on our global society. Many of us in the Congress believe the United States must stand ready to provide assistance now to meet this clear and present danger, before it's too late for the Colombian government as well as for our children and our borders that inevitably become the victims of such sophisticated narco-terrorism. In fact, 14,000 Americans die each year from illegal drugs as casualties in a silent war consuming our streets and neighborhoods.

"While I have been critical in the past of the Administration's efforts and policies toward Colombia's growing problems, I believe the President is beginning to respond in good faith to our concerns. Although I have not seen the full details of the President's proposal, I discussed the Colombian situation with him this past weekend and told him I look forward to working very closely with him to turn it around. Together, I hope the Congress and the Administration can develop a long-term strategy to counter this very real crisis in Colombia - one of South America's oldest democracies."

As of March 14, 2000, this document is also available at http://speakernews.house.gov/library/irdefense/000111colombia.asp

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