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Last Updated:2/24/03
Relevant excerpts from conference report on H.J. Res. 2, the 2003 Omnibus Appropriations bill (which includes the Foreign Operations Appropriation) (with annotations)

(Excerpt text only, without annotations)

ANDEAN COUNTERDRUG INITIATIVE

For necessary expenses to carry out section 481 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to support counterdrug activities in the Andean region of South America,
1. Overall amount: The figure of $700 million for the entire Andean region is less than the Bush Administration's original request of $731 million.
$700,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That in addition to the funds appropriated under this heading and subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations,
2. Additional $31 million: The $700 million can become $731 million by taking funding out of the budget of the State Department's International Narcotics Control program, which funds counter-narcotics programs worldwide (beyond the Andean region). That program's budget for 2003 is $197 million, so $31 million would be a substantial cut.
the President may make available up to an additional $31,000,000 for the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, which may be derived from funds appropriated under the heading "International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement'' in this Act and in prior Acts making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs: Provided further, That
3. Mission expansion: The bill repeats legislative language that first appeared in the 2002 emergency anti-terrorism supplemental (H.R. 4775), which allows past and present counter-drug aid to be used in counter-insurgent (or "counter-terror") operations.
in fiscal year 2003, funds available to the Department of State for assistance to the Government of Colombia shall be available to support a unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, against activities by organizations designated as terrorist organizations such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), and to take actions to protect human health and welfare in emergency circumstances, including undertaking rescue operations: Provided further, That this authority shall cease to be effective if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that the Colombian Armed Forces are not conducting vigorous operations to restore government authority and respect for human rights in areas under the effective control of paramilitary and guerrilla organizations: Provided further,

4. Helicopter end-use: This provision has been included in aid legislation every year since the 2000-2001 "Plan Colombia" aid package.

That the President shall ensure that if any helicopter procured with funds under this heading is used to aid or abet the operations of any illegal self-defense group or illegal security cooperative, such helicopter shall be immediately returned to the United States: Provided further, That

5. Shootdown policy: The U.S. strategy of passing intelligence about suspected drug-smuggling flights to the Peruvian and Colombian Air Forces has been suspended since the accidental shooting down of a planeload of U.S. missionaries over Peru in April 2001. In this section, which also appeared in the 2002 aid bill, Congress seeks assurances that new safeguards are in place to avoid any new accidents.

none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available to support a Peruvian air interdiction program until the Secretary of State and Director of Central Intelligence certify to the Congress, 30 days before any resumption of United States involvement in a Peruvian air interdiction program, that an air interdiction program that permits the ability of the Peruvian Air Force to shoot down aircraft will include enhanced safeguards and procedures to prevent the occurrence of any incident similar to the April 20, 2001 incident: Provided further,

6. Report: Congress is asking for a thorough report on how money will be spent in each country.

That the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and prior to the initial obligation of funds appropriated under this heading, a report on the proposed uses of all funds under this heading on a country-by-country basis for each proposed program, project, or activity: Provided further,
7. Straight to AID: This provision, $35 million higher than similar language in the 2002 bill, guarantees that (a) over one-third of the region-wide package must be social and economic aid, and (b) funds for social and economic programs will be appropriated directly to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) instead of first passing through the State Department's anti-narcotics bureau, as they did in 2001.
That of the amount appropriated under this heading, not less than $250,000,000 shall be apportioned directly to the United States Agency for International Development, to be used for economic and social programs: Provided further,
8. Anti-paramilitary unit: $5 million must go to a Colombian military unit that would be dedicated to arresting paramilitary leaders.
That of the funds appropriated under this heading and under the heading ``Foreign Military Financing Program'', not less than $5,000,000 should be made available to support a Colombian Armed Forces unit dedicated to apprehending the leaders of paramilitary organizations: Provided further,
9. Police "web monitoring software."
That of the funds made available for assistance for Colombia under this heading, up to $3,000,000 should be made available for commercially developed, web monitoring software, and training on the usage thereof, for the Colombian National Police: Provided further,
10. Aid to the Procurador's human rights unit. The Procuradoría is an "internal affairs" body that issues administrative penalties but doesn't jail offenders.
That of the funds made available for assistance for Colombia under this heading, not less than $1,500,000 should be made available for vehicles, equipment, and other assistance for the human rights unit of the Procurador General: Provided further,

11. Fumigation certification: Weakened somewhat from a similar provision in the 2002 law, this rather self-explanatory language cuts off 80 percent of money for new herbicides until the State Department and EPA can certify that several conditions exist.

That not more than 20 percent of the funds appropriated by this Act that are used for the procurement of chemicals for aerial coca and poppy fumigation programs may be made available for such programs unless the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that (1) the herbicide mixture is being used in accordance with EPA label requirements for comparable use in the United States and any additional controls recommended by the EPA for this program, and with the Colombian Environmental Management Plan for aerial fumigation; (2) the herbicide mixture, in the manner it is being used, does not pose unreasonable risks or adverse effects to humans or the environment; (3) complaints of harm to health or licit crops caused by such fumigation are evaluated and fair compensation is being paid for meritorious claims; and such funds may not be made available for such purposes unless programs are being implemented by the United States Agency for International Development, the Government of Colombia, or other organizations, in consultation with local communities, to provide alternative sources of income in areas where security permits for small-acreage growers whose illicit crops are targeted for fumigation: Provided further,

12. Section 482(b): This provision waives section 482(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act, which normally prohibits the use of counter-narcotics funds for weapons or ammunition (unless they are to be used for the defensive arming of anti-drug aircraft or for defensive purposes by State Department employees or contract personnel engaged in counternarcotics activities).

When aid is subject to "normal notification procedures," the leaders of both houses' appropriations committees must be notified in advance when new aid is to be obligated; chairmen and ranking minority-party members of these committees occasionally freeze such aid until certain conditions are met or negotiated.

That section 482(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 shall not apply to funds appropriated under this heading: Provided further, That assistance provided with funds appropriated under this heading that is made available notwithstanding section 482(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, shall be made available subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations: Provided further,

13. The "cap" on troops and contractors: The presence of U.S. military personnel and private contractors in Colombia is again held to a maximum of 400 each. While the cap only applies to U.S. personnel in Colombia "in support of Plan Colombia," Bush Administration officials have pledged to respect the limit - except in special cases like search-and-rescue missions.

That the provisions of section 3204(b) through (d) of Public Law 106 246, as amended by Public Law 107 115, shall be applicable to funds appropriated for fiscal year 2003: Provided further, That no United States Armed Forces personnel or United States civilian contractor employed by the United States will participate in any combat operation in connection with assistance made available by this Act for Colombia: Provided further,

14. Colombian National Park Service.

That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $3,500,000 shall be made available for assistance for the Colombian National Park Service for training, equipment, and other assistance to protect Colombia's national parks and reserves: Provided further, That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not more than $15,680,000 may be available for administrative expenses of the Department of State, and not more than $4,500,000 may be available, in addition to amounts otherwise available for such purposes, for administrative expenses of the United States Agency for International Development.

...

FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING PROGRAM

(including transfer of funds)

For expenses necessary for grants to enable the President to carry out the provisions of section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act, $4,072,000,000: Provided, That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $2,100,000,000 shall be available for grants only for Israel, and not less than $1,300,000,000 shall be made available for grants only for Egypt: Provided further, That the funds appropriated by this paragraph for Israel shall be disbursed within 30 days of the enactment of this Act: Provided further, That to the extent that the Government of Israel requests that funds be used for such purposes, grants made available for Israel by this paragraph shall, as agreed by Israel and the United States, be available for advanced weapons systems, of which not less than $550,000,000 shall be available for the procurement in Israel of defense articles and defense services, including research and development:

15. No FMF for helicopters: The "Foreign Military Financing" program is the main non-drug military-aid program in U.S. foreign aid law. This provision prohibits FMF to buy helicopters for Colombia, except for the pipeline-protection program discussed in the next sentence.

Provided further, That except as provided in the following proviso, none of the funds appropriated by this paragraph may be made available for helicopters and related support costs for Colombia: Provided further,

16. Pipeline protection: $93 million (less than the Bush administration's request of $98 million) will help the Colombian Army's 18th Brigade and 5th Mobile Brigade, as well as marine and police units, protect the Caño Limón-Coveñas pipeline in the conflictive department of Arauca. $6 million for this program was appropriated earlier in the 2002 emergency anti-terrorism supplemental (H.R. 4775).

That up to $93,000,000 of the funds appropriated by this paragraph may be transferred to and merged with funds appropriated under the heading ``Andean Counterdrug Initiative'' for helicopters, training and other assistance for the Colombian Armed Forces for security for the Cano Limon pipeline: Provided further, That funds appropriated by this paragraph shall be nonrepayable notwithstanding any requirement in section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act: Provided further, That funds made available under this paragraph shall be obligated upon apportionment in accordance with paragraph (5)(C) of title 31, United States Code, section 1501(a).

...

 

COLOMBIA

17. Human rights conditions: Language conditioning military aid to Colombia on human rights performance -- which was included in the bill's Senate version -- is similar to that found in past legislation, though it has been weakened by allowing 75 percent of aid to flow without a certification of the Colombian military's human rights performance.

Sec. 564. (a) Determination and Certification Required .--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for the Colombian Armed Forces, may be made available as follows:

(1) Up to 75 percent of such funds may be obligated prior to a determination and certification by the Secretary of State pursuant to paragraph (2).

(2) Up to 12.5 percent of such funds may be obligated only after the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that:

(A) The Commander General of the Colombian Armed Forces is suspending from the Armed Forces those members, of whatever rank, who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, or to have aided or abetted paramilitary organizations.

(B) The Colombian Government is prosecuting those members of the Colombian Armed Forces, of whatever rank, who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, or to have aided or abetted paramilitary organizations, and is punishing those members of the Colombian Armed Forces found to have committed such violations of human rights or to have aided or abetted paramilitary organizations.

(C) The Colombian Armed Forces are cooperating with civilian prosecutors and judicial authorities in such cases (including providing requested information, such as the identity of persons suspended from the Armed Forces and the nature and cause of the suspension, and access to witnesses, relevant military documents, and other requested information).

(D) The Colombian Armed Forces are severing links (including denying access to military intelligence, vehicles, and other equipment or supplies, and ceasing other forms of active or tacit cooperation) at the command, battalion, and brigade levels, with paramilitary organizations.

(E) The Colombian Armed Forces are executing orders for capture of leaders of paramilitary organizations that continue armed conflict.

(3) The balance of such funds may be obligated after July 31, 2003, if the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the appropriate congressional committees, after such date, that the Colombian Armed Forces are continuing to meet the conditions contained in paragraph (2) and are conducting vigorous operations to restore government authority and respect for human rights in areas under the effective control of paramilitary and guerrilla organizations.

(b) Consultative Process .--At least 10 days prior to making the certifications required by subsection (a), the Secretary of State shall consult with internationally recognized human rights organizations regarding progress in meeting the conditions contained in that subsection.

(c) Definitions .--In this section:

(1) Aided or abetted .--The term ``aided or abetted'' means to provide any support to paramilitary groups, including taking actions which allow, facilitate, or otherwise foster the activities of such groups.

(2) Paramilitary groups .--The term ``paramilitary groups'' means illegal self-defense groups and illegal security cooperatives.

18. Visa denial: A provision appearing for the second straight year, this requirement applies to suspected supporters -- and not just members -- of all three Colombian groups on the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

ILLEGAL ARMED GROUPS

Sec. 565. (a) Denial of Visas to Supporters of Colombian Illegal Armed Groups.--Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary of State shall not issue a visa to any alien who the Secretary determines, based on credible evidence--

(1) has willfully provided any support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), or the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), including taking actions or failing to take actions which allow, facilitate, or otherwise foster the activities of such groups; or

(2) has committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the commission of gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, in Colombia.

(b) Waiver.--Subsection (a) shall not apply if the Secretary of State determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees, on a case-by-case basis, that the issuance of a visa to the alien is necessary to support the peace process in Colombia or for urgent humanitarian reasons.

...

19. Report language: The bill comes with a report clarifying the Conference Committee's intent and expectations for the law, as well as other concerns and the occasional request for information.

[Non-binding report language:]

ANDEAN COUNTERDRUG INITIATIVE

The conference agreement appropriates $700,000,000 for the Andean Counterdrug Initiative instead of $731,000,000 as proposed by the House and $650,000,000 as proposed by the Senate.

Additionally, the conference agreement allows for the authority to provide up to $31,000,000 through a permissive transfer from the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement funds. Such a transfer is subject to the regular notification procedures of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. The managers emphasize that there are other funds for Andean nations in this Act that may be made available for the Andean Regional Initiative (ARI).

The conference agreement provides that not less than $250,000,000 shall be directly apportioned to U.S. Agency for International Development, instead of $225,000,000 as provided in the Senate amendment. This provision was not included in the House bill.

The managers have extended the availability of funds provided for assistance for Colombia to support a unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, against activities by organizations designated as terrorist organizations, and to take actions to protect health and human welfare. This provision is identical to that in the House bill and similar to the provision included in the Senate amendment in section 563.

20. Counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism and "mission creep:" Here, the conference committee tries to clarify the extent to which it expects the U.S. aid mission to be broadened. The committee expresses a desire to see counter-narcotics remain the principal U.S. mission in Colombia.

The managers are supportive of the Colombian Government in its attempts to provide security for the Colombian people and have provided the expansion of authorities in recognition that the narcotics industry is linked to the terrorist groups, including the paramilitary organizations, in Colombia. However, the managers still conclude that coca provides the revenue and a motive for the violence committed by both the guerrilla and paramilitary groups. Therefore, the managers expect counternarcotics, alternative development, and judicial reform to remain the principal focus of United States policy in Colombia. The expanded authority is not a signal from the managers for the United States to become more deeply involved in assisting the Colombian Armed Forces in fighting the terrorist groups, especially not at the expense of the counternarcotics programs, but to provide the means for more effective intelligence gathering and fusion, and to provide the flexibility to the Department of State when the distinction between counternarcotics and counterterrorism is not clear cut.

21. The committee asks for a report on what will change in Colombia as a result of the expanded mission.

The managers direct the Secretary of State to report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 90 days after enactment of the changes in United States policy, including new procedures and operations, as a result of implementing the expanded authorities.

The conference agreement includes House language that provides that the expanded authority shall cease to be effective if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that the Colombian Armed Forces are not conducting vigorous operations to restore government authority and human rights in areas under the effective control of paramilitary and guerrilla organizations. This provision is not included in the Senate amendment.

The managers note the requirement in the Act that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of U.S. Agency for International Development, shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and prior to the initial obligation of funds appropriated under this heading, a report on the proposed uses of all funds under this heading on a country-by-country basis for each proposed program, project, or activity. This report is similar to the report required in the fiscal year 2000 emergency supplemental appropriations act and is required again in fiscal year 2003 given the managers' disappointment in the level of pertinent information included in the Department of State's Congressional Budget Justification and congressional notifications.

Additionally, the conference agreement does not include Senate language making all funds under this heading subject to notification. The House bill did not include this language. The managers note that in section 520, all funds provided for Colombia are subject to notification.

The conference agreement continues current caps on the number of United States military personnel and United States civilian contractors in Colombia, as well as the current prohibition on participation by such persons in combat operations in connection with assistance made available by this Act.

The conference agreement again includes conditions on the aerial spraying of herbicide, similar to the Senate amendment, to ensure that any use of such chemicals is consistent with the Colombian Environmental Management Plan, with Environmental Protection Agency regulations, and to ensure that chemicals used in the aerial fumigation of coca do not pose unreasonable health or safety risks to humans or the environment. The managers intend and expect that every reasonable precaution will be taken in the aerial fumigation program to ensure that the exposure to humans and the environment in Colombia meets Environmental Protection Agency standards for comparable use in the United States.

Additionally,

22. The committee asks for a thorough report on steps taken to mitigate the health and environmental effects of herbicide fumigation.

the managers direct the Secretary of State to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations, not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, describing (1) the steps the Department of State is taking to enhance environmental safeguards of the fumigation program, including implementing the recommendations of the Environmental Protection Agency in the fiscal year 2002 fumigation report; (2) the Department's plan to conduct an independent, long-term program to monitor the health and environmental effects of the fumigation program, including conducting soil and water tests in areas sprayed, toxicity tests on the spray formulation, and ground verification missions to evaluate over-spray; and (3) steps taken to implement environmental training programs for fumigation pilots.

The conference agreement includes the House language prohibiting funds for the resumption of flights in support of a Peruvian air interdiction program until a system of enhanced safeguards are in place. The Senate did not address this matter.

The conference agreement provides that not less than $5,000,000 from funds under this heading or under the heading ``Foreign Military Financing'' should be made available to support a Colombian Armed Forces unit dedicated to apprehending the leaders of paramilitary organizations. The Senate amendment included similar language but made the provision of funds mandatory. The House did not address this matter. The managers believe that the capture of these individuals, for which there are numerous outstanding arrest warrants, could contribute significantly to reducing atrocities against civilians by these terrorist organizations as well as enhancing public confidence in the Colombian Government's ability to protect public safety.

The conference agreement provides that not less than $1,500,000 should be made available for vehicles, equipment, and other assistance for the human rights unit of the Procurador General, instead of language proposed by the Senate that provides that not less than $2,000,000 shall be made available for such assistance. The House did not address this matter.

Additionally, the conference agreement provides that not less than $3,000,000 should be made available for software and training for the Colombian National Police. The Senate amendment included similar language but made the provision of funds mandatory. The House did not address this matter.

The conference agreement provides that not less than $3,500,000 shall be made available for the Colombian National Park Service. This language is identical to the provision in the Senate amendment. The House did not address this matter. The managers endorse Senate report language regarding this issue.

23. The committee calls on the State Department to cancel the Justice Department's role in managing judicial reform programs, which have been implemented very slowly.

The managers endorse the language in the House report directing that the Department of State immediately terminate its inter-agency agreement with the Department of Justice and transfer remaining funds to the U.S. Agency for International Development for development, rule of law, and humanitarian assistance programs.

The conference agreement makes available $15,680,000 for administrative expenses of the Department of State as proposed by the House instead of $14,800,000 as proposed by the Senate.

As of February 24, 2003, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/z?cp108:hr010:

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