by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-California), March 29, 2000
GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from
California (Mr. Lewis), the distinguished subcommittee chairman of the Committee
Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr.
Speaker, I thank very much the gentleman from Florida for yielding me
this time. The rule includes an amendment that will allow as we have heard
for additional $4 billion to be added to the defense accounts. It touches
on many of the vital needs that we have in terms of our shortfall for
our military. I will have an opportunity to discuss that later. I will
not later be talking about the Colombia piece, and I would like to take
just a moment to address that. I would like my colleagues to know that
this brings back amazing memories. For the first time I ever focused upon
my chairman the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Young) who today was presenting
the difficulty of our schedules and our ranking member the gentleman from
Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), it was at a time that we were discussing Central
America and Latin America.
In those days, the debate
flowed around El Salvador and Nicaragua, Guatemala, indeed the voices
that swirl around the ranking member today were very similar in those
days. They were opposed to America's involvement in Central America. Today,
we see that region thriving in democracy. Indeed today Colombia is asking
us for our assistance with a very, very significant drug problem. Indeed,
America cannot solve Colombia's entire problem; but they have asked for
our help. It would be a grave error for us to make the same mistake that
those same voices would have suggested we make in El Salvador in the country
of Colombia. I urge us to pass the rule and indeed to support this bill
in its final form.
Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, will
the gentleman yield?
Mr. LEWIS of California. I
yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.
Mr. OBEY. I would suggest
the gentleman go back and recheck my record. I did not oppose our efforts
in Salvador. I opposed certain efforts that did not provide for the support
of legitimate democratic forces, but I also supported funding for Salvador.
Mr. LEWIS of California. Taking
back my time, there is little doubt that the voices were almost identical
to those that flow today regarding this issue. There is little question,
they did not want us involved in El Salvador or Nicaragua, and there is
democracy there today because of America's involvement in part. Colombia
has a major problem. They are asking for our assistance. I would suggest
that we provide them with a small amount of assistance.
As of March 30, 2000, this
document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29MR0-104: