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.

Home
|
Analyses
|
Aid
|
|
|
News
|
|
|
|
Last Updated:4/18/03
Speech by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut), April 3, 2003

Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Chairman, I am proud to offer this amendment with my colleagues, the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern) and the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton). It would reduce military and security assistance to Colombia and add $61 million to the Office of Domestic Preparedness for assistance to State and local first responders.

Today our country is at war and the Nation's threat level is high. I heard in my district a few weeks ago when I met with police, fire, and emergency medical personnel that there is a serious need in our cities and towns to provide funding for first responders in our fight against terrorism. Our localities have already spent in excess of $3 billion to meet their homeland security needs; and with this economy, with States in the single worst fiscal crisis since World War II, we cannot expect them to shoulder the full burden. Any bill to fund the war must also provide these cities and towns with the funds they need to safeguard their communities.

This bill includes provisions that have nothing to do with meeting our homeland security needs or funding the war in Iraq. In particular, I am talking about the substantial military aid for Colombia. In fact, this bill contains more military and security assistance for Colombia, $105 million, than the amount that nearly every State will receive for first responders. And what is so urgent at this particular moment about our objectives in Colombia that could not be addressed in the annual appropriations process? Why is this funding in an emergency bill meant to address Iraq?

I am concerned that this funding for Colombia may signal an escalation of our military involvement there. If this is true, then we have an obligation to have a full debate here in the Congress and reconsider our objectives there rather than simply approve additional funding without any debate at all.

No matter how we feel about our involvement in Colombia, this bill is not the vehicle by which we should be making serious policy decisions regarding the escalation of our involvement.

[Time: 17:15]
I urge my colleagues, do right by their cities, their towns, police, fire, emergency medical personnel. Support this amendment. Give first responders the resources they need to keep their communities safe.

As of April 18, 2003, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r108:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20030403)

Google
Search WWW Search ciponline.org

Asia
|
Colombia
|
|
Financial Flows
|
National Security
|

Center for International Policy
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 / fax (202) 232-3440
cip@ciponline.org