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Last Updated:10/24/01
Speech by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut), October 24, 2001
Mr. DODD. Mr. President, there are obviously choices made all over the place in terms of programs being cut. The point of this is that the Senator from Florida and I are proposing that we get back to the level the President suggested. This is about the Andean region. In the past we dealt with Colombia. There were concerns raised by many about that program. This deals with the Andean region. It is more than just one country. This is a critical issue. I know our attention today is focused on Central Asia, as it should be, and Afghanistan and the Taliban. But we will have to have a continuing effort in other parts of the globe on threats we face.

Clearly, we will lose thousands of people every year in this country in drug-related deaths, and about 98 percent of the product which is the source of this devastation in our country comes from the Andean region. Our attention today has shifted.

All we are suggesting is that we get back to the level the President suggested, $164 million. It is a cut of 22 percent dealing with several countries in the region, not just one. I am sure my friend from Florida has gone over the details of this to explain where the resources go and how effective we hope it will be. I join with him.

Obviously, I am not interested in seeing the Peace Corps cut, or Eximbank, or other programs, which I know my friend from Vermont cares about very much. I understand the difficulty of wrestling with these programs. But I believe very strongly that this is an area where we have to maintain a level of consistent involvement, or we are going to find that the resources we have committed are going to be diluted significantly.

This is a very serious effort. It is not on the front pages today, but it will be again, I guarantee you. That is the reason we offered this amendment. My hope is that we can reach some agreement so we can do more.

Again, I believe very strongly that this is one of the most critical issues--not just for ourselves. It is in the direct interest of people who are dying every day in our streets as a result of what happened in these countries. Our efforts are to work with friends in the area--particularly in Colombia--people who have paid an awful price over the years, a devastating price. They have attempted to shed this country down there of any vestige of its own long historic democratic institutions.

We are under siege in a lot of places around the globe. This is a major one. Therefore, the cut that has come here is one we would like to see restored. Therefore, I urge the adoption of the amendment.

As of October 25, 2001, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r107:@FIELD(FLD003+s)+@FIELD(DDATE+20011024)

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