by Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-North Carolina), March 23, 2000
THE COLOMBIAN AID PACKAGE (House of Representatives - March 23, 2000)
(Mr. BALLENGER asked and was given permission to address the House for
1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Speaker,
each week that we delay the passage of the Colombia aid package costs
America the lives of 1,000 of its children. That means every day we sit
here and do nothing about the drug trade from Colombia, 143 of our young
people will die from drug-related causes. In the time it takes us to debate
and vote on the aid package, 12 children will succumb to drug addiction.
In 1998, 5 million young people
in this country required treatment for drug addiction, and nearly 600,000
required an emergency room visit. In the United States, there are 1.6
million drug-related arrests annually, and over half of our prison population
has committed drug related crimes. Even more disturbing, while the average
age of marijuana users is increasing, heroin abusers are getting younger.
Seventy-five percent of all
the heroin entering this country comes from Colombia. Delaying this aid
package will only bring in more.
Mr. Speaker, we have worked
hard to stop the genocide in other countries. We now have the duty to
stop the senseless slaughter of a generation of young Americans. If we
love our children as much as we claim, then we must pass the Colombia
aid package, and soon.
As of March 24, 2000, this
document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H23MR0-20: