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Last Updated:7/18/00
Speech by Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-Alabama), June 29, 2000
Mr. CALLAHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference agreement, which will, as far as the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs is concerned, will provide $1.3 billion in assistance for Plan Colombia.

There are some in this body and some who question whether or not this is the right direction; but this is the direction that the President of Colombia, the President of the United States, and our drug czar, General McCaffrey, has requested that we submit to the Colombians, this necessary ingredient to help them stop the flow of drugs into the United States. It is imperative that we do this tonight, and it is imperative that my colleagues join with us.

To satisfy some who are concerned about some of the human rights and justice program, we have included an additional $29 million above the President's request to make certain that human rights and justice are provided for all citizens. And I certainly encourage the Members of Congress to vote for it.

On that note, let us not send any doubt that the U.S. Congress is not behind this plan that has been developed to help eradicate this tremendous problem for the United States and for the world. Even though we have gone through all of the debate and all of the negotiations and all of the discussions about whether or not this is the right direction, in my opinion this is the right direction at this time. I think that if we are going to do anything to combat drugs, we must respond to those people who have pledged to eradicate this tremendous plague on the people of the United States and the people of the world and, at the same time, to provide the Colombian government with the necessary resources.

We are not giving direct cash to the Colombian government. Most of the money that we are providing will go in vehicles that are manufactured by American workers. Most all of this $1.3 billion will be spent here in the United States providing the artillery and providing the necessary vehicles that the Colombians need to win this war against drugs.

So this is the time when we should support our President, support the Colombian plan, support the other allies throughout the world who are contributing nearly $5 billion towards this program. Our share is only $1.3 billion of the $7.5 billion plan. So I think it is the right direction for our country to take, and I would encourage all Members to vote for this conference report which includes these very vital provisions.

As of July 18, 2000, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29JN0-B744:
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