by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), June 20, 2000
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
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
As of June 21, 2000,
this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:S20JN0-389: