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.

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Last Updated:6/21/00
Speech by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), June 20, 2000
Mr. McCONNELL. … Now, let me take a moment to describe the committee's treatment of the Colombia supplemental request. Our disposition of Plan Colombia differs from the request in four ways.

First, within the Foreign Operations area, the overall funding is lower. The administration requested $1,073,500,000. The Committee has appropriated $934,100,000.

Second, that lower funding level is primarily a result of providing a different helicopter package. The request was for 30 Blackhawks at a cost of $388 million. We have provided 60 Huey IIs at a cost of $118.5 million. These numbers include the first year's operating costs.

Third, with the savings in the helicopter package we were able to invest in a regional strategy and substantially increase aid to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. I felt the administration's singular focus on Colombia guaranteed that the production and trafficking problem would simply be pushed across the border. The bill's regional emphasis on interdiction and development keeps Colombian traffickers from becoming a moving target. We more than doubled the regional request of $76 million and provided $205 million.

This level allowed us to fully fund Bolivia's request of $120 million for both alternative development and interdiction programs. With an impressive track record in eradication of coca and alternative development, Bolivia deserves our continued support as the government completes the task. The results in Bolivia are truly noteworthy, almost to the point of being astonishing.

Similarly, we nearly tripled the support for Ecuador while increasing aid to the Peruvian Government as well.

Fourth and finally, we added $50 million to the $93 million request for human rights monitoring. As the military pressure picks up, so will the likelihood of abuses, so we have expanded witness, prosecutor, and judicial protection programs as well as support to monitoring groups. We have also conditioned aid on the Secretary of State certifying that the Colombian military is in full compliance with their own laws requiring the prosecution of military officers in civilian courts for alleged human rights abuses. This should help end the pattern of allowing these cases to be dropped in military courts.

As of June 21, 2000, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:S20JN0-389:

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