by Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-North Carolina), March 15, 2000
AID PACKAGE (House of Representatives - March 15, 2000)
(Mr. BALLENGER asked and was
given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Speaker,
in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, the soothsayer warned Caesar to `beware
of the Ides of March.' Caesar did not listen and Caesar perished.
Today, on this Ides of March,
I bring my colleagues fair warning. If we do not pass the Colombia aid
package soon, our friends in Colombia could suffer the same fate as Caesar
and our own children could be next.
Mr. Speaker, in fiscal year
1999, Federal agents intercepted nearly 2,800 pounds of heroin and 280,000
pounds of cocaine coming into the United States. And of these amounts,
DEA estimates that 80 percent of the coke and 75 percent of the heroin
originated in Colombia .
These are staggering figures
indeed, but they only represent the seizures. I can assure my colleagues
that much more is making it to our streets and to our young people.
Without U.S. help in fighting
the drug war, the Colombian Government has little chance of ending the
violence and stopping the flow of drugs. With the illegal drug trade providing
the insurgents with over $600 million a year in drug money, it is likely
that the duly-elected Government of Colombia will fall without our immediate
help. Failing to act will stay with our children forever.
As of March 16, 2000, this
document is also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H15MR0-25: