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Public Statements

Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2005 (Continued)

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


FOREIGN OPERATIONS, EXPORT FINANCING AND RELATED PROGRAMS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 15, 2004)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 715 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, H.R. 4818.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

AMENDMENT NO. 14 OFFERED BY MR. LANTOS

Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 14 offered by Mr. Lantos:

Page 18, line 22, after "$2,450,000,000", insert the following: "(increased by $325,000,000)".

Page 19, line 3, after "$535,000,000", insert the following: "(increased by $325,000,000)".

Page 19, line 8, after "fiscal years:", insert the following: "Provided further, That of the amounts that are made available under
the previous proviso for Egypt, $325,000,000 shall not be obligated until after September 1, 2005:".

Page 42, line 13, after "$4,777,500,000", insert the following: "(reduced by $325,000,000)".

Page 42, line 16, after "$1,300,000,000", insert the following: "(reduced by $325,000,000)".

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Lantos amendment. It is with sadness and great concern that I rise today to propose a shift in military aid to Egypt. I am saddened that Egyptian society is suffering from illiteracy, decreasing per capita income, and is clamoring for the right to exert their fundamental freedoms and civil liberties, while the Egyptian government has embarked on a significant military buildup of the sort one would expect from a nation under imminent threat.

Yet, as all of us know, Egypt currently occupies a secure, strategic environment, further improved by Libya's decision to verifiably disarm and dismantle its chemical, biological and nuclear missile programs.

Egypt's military aid is particularly daunting when considered within the context of the $1.3 billion in annual military aid that the U.S. provides to Egypt, in essence making us in this Chamber enablers of this increase in Egyptian battle units, Harpoon missiles and fast-attack aircraft.

This cannot and must not continue.

You will hear that the administration has concerns about this amendment. However, the amendment that I have cosponsored on a bipartisan basis is in keeping with President Bush's priorities to bring freedom, democracy and economic liberalization to the Middle East.

This amendment merely shifts funds from military aid to economic assistance for the purpose of supporting Egyptian civil society and improving the quality of life of the Egyptian people. It is in keeping with U.S. public diplomacy efforts by sending a clear message about U.S. priorities for Egypt's future and the future of Egypt's people. It builds goodwill with the people of the region by supporting educational, economic and political development, goals which contribute most effectively to Egypt's internal stability.

You might hear arguments about how this amendment undermines Egypt's efforts to provide security in Gaza. Let us not be fooled: Egypt is not using this military assistance for anything else but to strengthen its political stature in the region through a show of weapons and military capabilities.

Mr. Chairman, I think that it is time to say no more excuses, and let us vote for the Lantos amendment.

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