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Foreign Operations Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2005

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Location: Washington, DC

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

Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from New York for yielding me the time.

Allow me, Mr. Chairman, to first thank the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Wicker) for all of his cooperation and that of
his staff in taking into consideration all of our concerns, including those in the minority. It is greatly appreciated, and
the spirit of bipartisan that you bring to the committee is very welcome and I believe has produced a very fine bill
overall.

Of course, my ranking member, the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), has done a magnificent job in leading
us in so many ways to improve the condition of peoples around the world.

A lot of Americans wonder why we spend any money on foreign aid at all. Well, it is really very simple. Of course, we
have a humanitarian interest in making sure that people do not suffer, and we help our neighbors, not just those next
door but across the border.

But if one were to look at it purely selfishly, in America's national interest, we do not want people to go hungry. We do
not want them to be brutalized by dictatorships. We do not want them to become resentful and frustrated and angry, and
we do not want them to lash out at all of the powers in the world who live in a democracy and live in freedom, which is
what we are facing now, people who have been deprived or who feel deprived, who have nothing to lose by giving up
their lives, so they think, to destroy a world order that has ignored them.

Mr. Chairman, I am so delighted that this bill provides money, for example, for microloan projects, where $100
literally given to a small village in Africa or in Latin America or even in Eastern Europe can change the whole town's
economy. Buy a sewing machine and create garments, sell those garments and buy another sewing machine.

Along with our aid to our allies such as the state of Israel, to Jordan in the Middle East, our assistance to Egypt, which
hopefully will continue to help the situation in Gaza, number one, by preventing smuggling of arms from Egypt to the
Palestinians that are being used against Israeli civilians but also to help train a security force in Gaza so that when
Israel pulls out of Gaza, as they have announced their intention to do, there will be a civil order in Gaza and the
Palestinians can control Gaza themselves and hopefully develop a moderate leadership that is interested in living in
peace next to its neighbor, our number one ally and friend for 55 years, the state of Israel.

I am also delighted that we have provided sufficient money for Armenia and Azerbaijan, money for Cyprus for
bicommunal activities, because these are ways that areas, countries where there was traditionally tension between the
two countries or the two entities within one country can find common ground, get over their historical differences and
work together. Hopefully, that is an example for the whole world.

Of course, in Haiti and the Sudan there is much to do. There is so much suffering in Haiti, and that is why I am proud
that $75 million in humanitarian aid for Haiti's recovery is in the bill, and that $310 million is in the bill for the Sudan,
where there have been and are presently ongoing horrors, murders and rapes and slavery, literally slavery of men,
women and children in that region. So that $310 million will be very well spent.

Again, this foreign aid bill not only is in our humanitarian interest to do to make the world a better place and to help
our neighbors live a better life, we want to make sure that the people of the world are well fed, have a job, have a
chance to be free, have a chance to take care of their families.

This is so important and especially now when, regardless of the cause, and we can debate the cause, I think it is fair to
say, and most Americans believe, that many people in the world wonder about America's character. They wonder about
that great Nation, shining Nation on a Hill, if we still have the kind of values that they thought we had.

Well, this foreign aid bill should let them know that the people of the United States of America are as generous as
always and interested in their well-being.

Mr. Chairman, I ask for the support of this bill.

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