by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), October 24, 2001
LEAHY. Mr. President, I understand the concerns of the Senator from Florida,
who has spent an enormous amount of time in this area, and the Senator from
Connecticut. I am sorry the Senator from Connecticut would not stay to hear
these comments. But we have included $718 million for the Andean Regional
Initiative. That is for Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador--$2 billion
in just over a year. We have not ignored this part of the world.
As the Senator from
Connecticut says, it may not be on the front page. The Ebola plague is
not on the front page. But we have inadequate amounts of money in here
to help protect us against such a health disaster.
Can you imagine?
Nobody would be wanting to cut money for that if the Ebola plague were
in the headlines. But this amendment would result in a cut of some of
We have money in
here to help put Americans back to work at a time when tens of thousands
are being laid off daily. It may not be the big headline. But this amendment
would in effect cut efforts to put these people back to work.
What the Peace Corps
has accomplished over the years is not in the headlines. But this money
would cut some of the increase in funds we put in for the Peace Corps.
There are a lot
of things that are not in the headlines. Helping to stop the spread of
AIDS may not be in the daily headlines. But this would cut money for that.
This is not about
whether you are for or against the Andean Initiative. We put nearly three-quarters
of a billion dollars in here following well over $1 billion in just the
past year. It is not without funding.
His amendment allow
cuts to be made in everything from the Middle East, refugee aid, basic
education, biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons non-proliferation
programs, anti-terrorism programs, and money to clear landmines. We need
to strike a balance, which is what this bill does.
What is the time?
The PRESIDING OFFICER
(Mrs. CARNAHAN). The Senator has 1 minute remaining.
Mr. LEAHY. Madam
President, how much time remains for my colleague from Florida?
The PRESIDING OFFICER.
Mr. LEAHY. Madam
President, Senator McConnell and I have gone through this bill and we
have tried to set priorities. We have put considerable amounts of money
in this bill for counterdrug programs. The House has even more. In conference,
as a practical matter, the money for the Andean Initiative is likely to
go up some amount.
But let us not cut
money for bioterrorism, money to stop plagues from reaching the United
States, money to aid refugees from Afghanistan or Africa, money to support
the countries which the President has promised to help with our campaign
against Osama bin Laden--let's not cut those funds--and the Peace Corps
and the Exim Bank and everything else, to add even more funds for counterdrug
programs when they have not spent what they already have.
I yield back whatever time I have left.
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)